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Project Development and Finance Group, Integrated Applications Center

The Project Development & Finance (PD&F) team works with federal agencies, utilities, universities, corporations and other organizations that have ambitious clean energy goals. The PD&F group helps decision-makers develop clean energy strategies, analyze project economics, and identify effective project funding alternatives. The team addresses the technical, policy, and financial hurdles to deploying renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies at scale. The team also provides guidance on removing systemic barriers to the increased mobilization of capital in the clean energy sector.

Learn more about the expertise and technical skills of NREL's Project Development and Finance group by reading our short biographies:

Photo of Libby Arnold

Libby Arnold

Business Support II

Areas of Expertise: Oil & Gas environmental permitting and regulations, conservation biology studies, executive administrative support, communications, event planning, records management and project research

Education: M.F.A. University of Florida, Acting; B.A. College of Santa Fe, NM, Performing Arts

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Photo of Jeff Bedard

Jeff Bedard

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Large-scale renewable energy project development. Twenty years experience leading complex, engineering and construction projects including initial concept definition, economic models, equity and debt financing, engineering, design, and infrastructure construction. Adjunct professor at University of Denver in Finance.

Education: University of Missouri, Rolla, MOM.S. Engineering Management, 1986

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Photo of Sam Booth

Sam Booth

Section Manager

Areas of Expertise: Experience developing and executing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and microgrid projects by providing technical and financial analysis, project management, and strategic support. Expertise in net zero energy installations and broad international experience. Prior to NREL worked in engineering, consulting, and business development.

Education: M.B.A., Boston University; B.S. Chemical Environmental Engineering and B.S. Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado

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Photo of Ricardo Bracho

Ricardo Bracho

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: 25 years Finance and Investment including: securities research and trading, investment banking, infrastructure project financing, private equity and international investment portfolio management.

Education: M.B.A. Finance, University of Connecticut; M.S. Global Energy Management, University of Colorado

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Photo of Mike Callahan

Mike Callahan, P.E.

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Experience managing large-scale, energy, engineering and construction projects. Skills in strategy and business development, energy auditing and engineering, entrepreneurship, grant writing, contract administration, and extensive international experience.

Education: M.S.B.A. in Business Administration, Colorado State University; B.S. Civil Engineering, North Carolina State University

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Photo of Katy Christiansen

Katy Christiansen

Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Experience in strategic planning, analysis, and policy development for federal government energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. Expertise in creating integrated process to achieve mission objectives and communicate progress to senior leadership.

Education: M.S. Environmental Science and Policy, Johns Hopkins University; B.S Environmental Studies, B.S. Psychology, University of Utah

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Photo of Doug Dahle

Doug Dahle

Senior Engineer

Areas of Expertise: Assist federal agency implementation of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC), Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and other innovative financing mechanisms for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University

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Photo of Michael Elchinger

Michael Elchinger

Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Business, modeling and financial analyst experienced with researching the financial health of companies and developing complex financial models.

Education: M.B.A University of Michigan; M.S. Economics, University of Virginia

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Photo of Doug Gagne

Doug Gagne

Research Analyst

Areas of Expertise: Project and market analysis, finance, social acceptance of renewable energy, international policy-making, esp. Council of Europe.

Education: M.B.A. University of Denver; B.A. International Studies, B.A. French, University of Denver

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Photo of Tom Harris

Tom Harris

Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: ESPC and power purchase agreement (PPA) project development and support; renewable energy opportunity assessment and strategy development; energy, financial, and economic modeling; renewable energy project development. Prior to NREL, managed the reactive compensation, power quality, and metering and billing programs as a distribution engineer for Huntsville Utilities.

Education: B.S. Electrical Engineering, Auburn University; JD/M.B.A., University of Alabama

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Photo of Brandon Newell

Brandon Newell

Military Fellow

Areas of Expertise: Over 15 years as an active duty Marine. Expertise in Department of Defense operational energy. Developed hybrid generation requirements for Marine Corps and Army. Experience assessing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies for potential Marine Corps utilization. Experience working with the majority of DOE and DOD laboratories. Primary specialty in Marine Corps is Communications (think AT&T).

Education: M.S. Electrical Engineering, Naval Postgraduate School; B.S Electrical Engineering, Louisiana State University

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Photo of Brett Oakleaf

Brett Oakleaf

Senior Engineer

Areas of Expertise: Over 20 years of broad utility experience, including business development, resource planning, project management, and operations (i.e. transmission, distribution, marketing, trading, generation)

Education: M.B.A Georgia Institute of Technology; B.S in Engineering Management, Clarkson University

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Photo of Linda Parkhill

Linda Parkhill


Areas of Expertise: Project analysis, data validation, and process improvement.

Education: M.S. Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines; B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado

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Photo of Edward Settle

Edward Settle

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Due diligence, valuation

Education: Executive M.B.A., University of Denver; B.S. Chemistry, Bob Jones University; B.S. Chemical and Petroleum-Refining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

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Photo of Chandra Shah

Chandra Shah

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Over a decade of experience helping federal partners meet their renewable goals through PPAs, ESPCs, utility partnerships, and purchasing RECs.

Education: M.B.A., University of Washington (1992); BSME, University of Michigan (1986)

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Photo of Tim Tetreault

Tim Tetreault

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Renewable energy and energy efficiency project technical and financial analysis, energy strategy development, energy project financing mechanisms (ESPC, PPA, UESC, EUL). Prior to NREL, Tim worked for an energy services company as a Project Engineer.

Education: M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder

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Photo of Nisha Thirumurthy

Nisha Thirumurthy

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Strong financial modeling and technical skills. Broad international experience in public, private, and NGO sectors.

Education: M.B.A. Tuck School of Business; Masters of International Relations, John Hopkins

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Photo of Karen Thomas

Karen Thomas

Senior Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Serves as the national laboratory lead FEMP's Utility Energy Services Contracting (UESC) team. Prior to working at NREL, completed a three year Engineering and Construction program while employed at a large investor-owned utility.

Education: Graduate Studies, MBA Program, Howard University

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Photo of Deb Vasquez

Deb Vasquez

Project Leader

Areas of Expertise: Federal energy management and federal energy project financing through utility partnerships. Deb serves as the technical lead for NREL's utility energy services contracts (UESC) team. Prior to working at NREL, Deb worked for the Federal Aviation Administration as a mechanical engineer and regional energy manager for the Northwest Mountain Region.

Education: B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington

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Photo of Adam Warren

Adam Warren, PhD

Group Manager

Areas of Expertise: Over 15 years' experience managing multi-year development projects and strategic initiatives from conception through execution. Expertise in renewable energy project development, strategic energy planning, technology commercialization, manufacturing, and techno-economic modeling. Prior to joining NREL, supported PepsiCo's sustainability efforts.

Education: PhD in Chemical Engineering, McMaster University; B.S. Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M

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Photo of David Wirtz

David Wirtz

Web Applications Developer

Areas of Expertise: Software developer with 20 years of experience creating full-featured, database-driven, user maintainable web applications. Programming: ColdFusion, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap. Databases: SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Solr

Education: M.B.A. — McGill University, Montréal, Québec; B.S. in Business Administration / French — University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

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