Technology Development, Validation, Demonstration, and Deployment

NREL has expertise across a range of technology development, validation, demonstration, and deployment activities that address trade-offs across the energy-water-land nexus and integrated, hybrid power systems.

Aerial photo of a water power plant and bridges on a river.


NREL offers the following technology development, validation, demonstration, and deployment support capabilities.

NREL conducts hardware-in-the-loop simulations at our Energy Systems Integration Facility to validate the performance of water treatment technologies under a range of energy scenarios, including high-penetration renewable energy. We also validate the ability to sustain operations and provide ancillary grid services without adverse effects on water quality or the treatment technology.
NREL provides technology-neutral demonstration and deployment support to help reduce risk and address barriers associated with the adoption of energy-efficient water treatment technologies powered by a range of energy options at partner sites.
NREL uses a systems approach to provide objective validation of water treatment technologies through testing, measurement, and verification of performance using its campus facilities and in real-world applications.
At its Flatirons Campus, NREL performs analysis to identify cost-effective strategies that optimize energy, improve resiliency, and integrate the operation of energy, water, and land systems for better decision-making.

Emerging Areas

High-performance computing and 3D visualization capabilities to analyze high-fidelity data and real-time flows of energy and water into and out of systems


Evaluation of Horizon of Viability Optimization Engine for Sustained Power to Critical Infrastructure, 2022 IEEE Power and Energy Conference at Illinois Conference Paper (2022)

Development of an Integrated Platform for Hardware-in-the-Loop Evaluation of Microgrids Prior to Site Commissioning, Applied Energy (2021)

Improving the Performance of Integrated Power-Hardware-in-the-Loop and Quasi-Static Time-Series Simulations, IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics (2021)

Voltage Regulation Performance Evaluation of Distributed Energy Resource Management via Advanced Hardware-in-the-Loop Simulation, Energies (2021)

Diesel Generator Controller Evaluation via Controller-Hardware-in-the-Loop for Various Microgrid Operation Modes, 2019 IEEE Power & Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies Conference Paper (2019)

Alternative Water Treatment Technologies for Cooling Tower Applications, NREL Technical Report (2018)

Energy-Water Microgrid Opportunity Analysis at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 Facility, NREL Technical Report (2018)

Floating Photovoltaic Systems: Assessing the Technical Potential of Photovoltaic Systems on Man-Made Water Bodies in the Continental United States, Environmental Science and Technology (2018)

REopt Evaluates a Renewable Energy/Water Hybrid System in the British Virgin Islands, NREL Case Study


Alicen Kandt

Senior Engineer, Water-Energy Nexus