Renewable Energy Optimization Modeling Internship

Position Details

Organization: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Department: Engineering and Modeling Group, Integrated Applications Center (IAC), Energy Analysis and Decision Support (EADS) directorate
Level: Graduate, Level: Undergraduate


NREL is seeking a student intern to support technical analysis projects in the Engineering and Modeling Group, Integrated Applications Center (IAC), Energy Analysis and Decision Support (EADS) directorate.  The Center helps clients including federal agencies, state and local governments, communities, and the private sector to develop energy strategies, analyze opportunities, and implement an integrated portfolio of renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) technologies to meet energy goals.

In this internship, the student will use EE and RE analysis tools to assist NREL engineers in evaluating EE and RE opportunities for federal agencies, universities, and communities.  This intern will also contribute to development of the REopt modeling platform for energy systems integration and optimization. REopt is used to evaluate renewable energy, storage, and conventional energy options and recommend a mix of technologies and operating strategy that minimizes the lifecycle cost of energy for a site. REopt aggregates energy systems data including electric and thermal energy use, utility rates, incentives, and renewable energy resource data to inform technology and economic decisions. The intern will conduct analysis using REopt and other EE/RE analysis tools to evaluate options for deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, storage, and conventional generation in buildings, campuses, or microgrids.

Specific Job Duties include:

  • Work as part of a software development team to develop and maintain models that analyze energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities
  • Develop, test, and document code to model renewable technology energy generation and costs, process user data inputs, and present data outputs to the user
  • Evaluate technical and economic feasibility of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects using EE and RE analysis tools such as REopt, SAM, HOMER, and RetScreen
  • Collect information in various forms and from various sources and process it into REopt inputs
  • Research data inputs to reconcile discrepancies in data from different sources
  • Research RE incentives and utility policies
  • Correspond with clients regarding data provided, clarifications, additional requests, and reminders for missing data
  • Correspond with clients regarding goals, constraints, and assumptions of analysis
  • Present results to clients and revise results and reports in response to client comments

This job is posted as a summer internship, but there may be an opportunity to extend the internship past the summer if the student is available to work part time or full time after the summer.


  • Must be enrolled as a full-time student in a degree granting program, or graduated in the past 12 months from an accredited institution.
  • Internship period cannot exceed 12 months past graduation.
  • Minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.


  • Programming experience: fluency in at least one general purpose programming language such as C++/C#/Python
  • Proficient in VBA
  • Expert knowledge of MS Excel
  • Experience developing Excel-based tools
  • Xpress or other optimization software experience
  • Experience using EE/RE software tools such as SAM, HOMER, and RETscreen
  • Basic knowledge of economics/ finance/cash flow analysis
  • Experience working with and managing large amounts of data
  • Experience using scripting languages for automating computer simulations
  • Experience applying engineering skills to EE and RE problems.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • Ability to collaborate with team members in a flexible work environment
  • Ability to work independently
  • High standards of work quality
  • Smart, intellectually curious, analytical, and tenacious in finding solutions. Adaptable to a variety of roles and projects.