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Thushara De Silva is a member of the Transmission Group within the Grid Planning and Analysis Center. She primarily works with production cost modeling and power system operation planning models to understand the power grid operation with increasing contributions from renewable energy. Some of her research focus is also on hydropower operation in high-renewable power grids since water resources planning is associated with several nonpower constraints.

Research Interests

High renewable power grid operation analysis

Hydropower scheduling and optimization 

Interactions between hydropower, the power grid, and the environment

Load forecasting


Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University

M.Sc., Environmental Engineering, Vanderbilt University

M.Eng., Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa

B.Sc. (Eng.), Electrical Engineering, University of Moratuwa

Professional Experience

Researcher, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (2019–Present)

Graduate Researcher, Vanderbilt University (2015–2019)

Electrical Engineer, Ceylon Electricity Board (2004–2015)

Associations and Memberships

Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Member, Informs

Member, American Geophysical Union

Featured Work

Hydropower Operation in Future Power Grid With Various Renewable Power Integration, Renewable Energy Focus (2022)

The Role of Regional Connections in Planning for Future Power System Operations Under Climate Extremes, Earth’s Future (2022)

Power Grid and Ecological Trade-Offs in a Power Grid with a High Proportion of Variable Renewables, HydroVision International Conference (2022)

Reliability and Resiliency in South Asia's Power Sector - Pathways for Research, Modeling, and Implementation, NREL Technical Report (2022)

Load Forecasting for the Moroccan Electricity Sector, NREL Technical Report (2021)

View all NREL publications for Thushara De Silva