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.

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


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

Hardware-in-the-Loop Testing

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.

Key Staff

Jennifer Daw, Jordan Macknick, Ismael Mendoza, Craig Turchi, Adam Warren


Use of Low-Temperature Geothermal Energy for Desalination in the Western United States, NREL Technical Report (2015)

Field Demonstration and Deployment

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. 

Key Staff

Jennifer Daw, Alicen Kandt


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

Technology Validation

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.

Key Staff

Alex Aznar, Jennifer Daw, Alicen Kandt, Jordan Macknick, Adam Warren


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)

Techno-Economic Analysis

NREL performs analysis using its models, tools, and industry knowledge to identify cost-effective strategies that optimize energy, improve resiliency, and integrate the operation of energy, water, and land systems.

Key Staff

Kate Anderson, Jennifer Daw, Alicen Kandt, James McCall, Dan Olis, Sherry Stout


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

Energy Efficiency Strategies for Municipal Wastewater Treatment Facilities, NREL Technical Report (2012)

REopt Evaluates a Renewable Energy/Water Hybrid System in the British Virgin Islands

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


Alicen Kandt

Senior Engineer, Water-Energy Nexus