Wesley Cole is a member of the Capacity Expansion & Electricity Markets Group in the Grid Planning and Analysis Center, and seeks to improve understanding of how the U.S. power system might evolve over the coming decades. He has extensive experience in building and applying long-term planning models to help inform decision-making in the power sector. He actively collaborates with other modeling and analysis teams outside of NREL to advance modeling and analysis capabilities.

Research Interests

Long-term resource planning

Power sector capacity expansion modeling

Energy storage


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Brigham Young University

Professional Experience

Sabbatical, Wholesale Marketing and Supply, Grant Public Utility District (2022)

Assistant Instructor, University of Texas at Austin (2013)

Featured Work

Planning for the Evolution of the Electric Grid with a Long-Run Marginal Emission RateiScience (2022)

Retail Rate Projections for Long-Term Electricity System Models, NREL Technical Report (2022)

Exploring the Design Space of PV-Plus-Battery System Configurations Under Evolving Grid Conditions, Applied Energy (2022)

Quantifying the Challenge of Reaching a 100% Renewable Energy Power System for the United States, Joule (2021)

Storage Futures Study: Economic Potential of Diurnal Storage in the U.S. Power Sector, NREL Technical Report (2021)

Cost Projections for Utility-Scale Battery Storage: 2021 Update, NREL Technical Report (2021)

The Prospective Impacts of 2019 State Energy Policies on the U.S. Electricity System, Energy Policy (2021)

Considerations for Maintaining Resource Adequacy of Electricity Systems with High Penetrations of PV and Storage, Applied Energy (2020)

Sunny with a Chance Of Curtailment: Operating the U.S. Grid with Very High Levels Of Solar Photovoltaics, iScience (2019)

Variable Renewable Energy in Long-Term Planning Models: A Multi-Model Perspective, NREL Technical Report (2017)

Awards and Honors

U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program Award, H2@Scale (2018)