The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced the 182,500-square-foot Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), a facility to help both public- and private-sector researchers scale up clean energy technologies and test how they interact with each other and the grid at utility scale.
Located at NREL's campus in Golden, Colo., the facility is designed to allow researchers to test everything from solar modules and wind turbines to electric vehicles and efficient home appliances.
NREL says ESIF will house more than 15 experimental laboratories and several outdoor test beds, including an interactive hardware-in-the-loop system that lets researchers and manufacturers test their products at full power and real grid load levels.
The Energy Systems Integration Facility is the latest addition to the U.S. Energy Department's national network of user facilities that provide scientists and engineers with open access to various advanced instruments and tools. Corporate users pay the full cost of conducting research and retain their intellectual property and data rights, while users that agree to publish their research results are charged a discounted fee.