Postdoctoral Researcher – Data and Decision Analysis for Electricity Markets



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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Golden, Colorado is the nation's primary laboratory for research and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

From day one at NREL, you’ll connect with coworkers driven by the same mission to save the planet. By joining an organization that values a supportive, inclusive, and flexible work environment, you’ll have the opportunity to engage through our eight employee resource groups, numerous employee-driven clubs, and learning and professional development classes.

NREL supports inclusive, diverse, and unbiased hiring practices that promote creativity and innovation. By collaborating with organizations that focus on diverse talent pools, reaching out to underrepresented demographics, and providing an inclusive application and interview process, our Talent Acquisition team aims to hear all voices equally. We strive to attract a highly diverse workforce and create a culture where every employee feels welcomed and respected and they can be their authentic selves.

Job Description

The Sensing and Predictive Analytics group at NREL is looking for an engineering or economics graduate to support projects analyzing participation models of variable energy resources, storage, hybrid power systems, distributed energy resources, and other emerging assets in electricity markets. The ideal candidate will bring a strong track record in applied probability, optimization, dynamic programming, and electricity markets. The candidate should demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge in applied mathematics and power systems and have experience developing software tools. 

Responsibilities could include:

  • Reviewing business practice manuals by independent system operators to inform the experimental design of projects that assess the integration of new technologies.
  • Developing optimization models for emerging assets ‘participation in electricity markets under uncertainties.
  • Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of market products.
  • Design new market products in addressing system needs of future electricity systems under scenarios with high penetration of clean energy resources and electrification of end uses.
  • Developing dispatch and optimization models using GAMS or Python or Julia and integrating the models in production simulation softwares
  • Designing simulation experiments to assess the economic and reliability performance of different participation models for emerging and existing assets.
  • Conducting simulation and analyzing simulation results to assess alternative electricity market designs. 
  • Developing and calculating metrics that reflect targets set by power system operators and policymakers.
  • Publishing results in technical reports, conference papers, or journal articles, and interact with clients.

The successful candidate will be part of the Sensing and Predictive Analytics group under the Power Systems Engineering Center (PSEC) at NREL. PSEC supports the science and technology goals of the U.S. Department of Energy and NREL toward a sustainable energy future.  The center works with the electricity industry to optimize strategies for effectively interconnecting renewable resources and emerging energy efficiency technologies in the existing electric power system.  The center focuses on resolving grid integration barriers and providing improved control and management strategies for increased grid flexibility, consumer empowerment, and transportation electrification.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Proficient in power system market models such as unit commitment and economic dispatch.
  • Has a publication and presentation record that demonstrates strong communication skills.
  • General understanding of current wholesale electricity markets, detailed knowledge of one or more US ISO markets is desired.
  • Proficiency in one or more of the following:  Python, R, or Matlab, GAMS, Pyomo, or Julia.
  • Working knowledge of Github.

Broad understanding of methods for decision making

Basic Qualifications

Must have a PhD degree in Decision Analysis, Economics, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or Systems Engineering.

Annual Salary Range (based on full-time 40 hours per week)

Annual Salary Range: $68,000 - $112,200

Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position's work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.

Benefits Summary

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; short-term disability insurance*; pension benefits*; 403(b) Employee Savings Plan with employer match*; life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance; personal time off (PTO) and sick leave; and paid holidays. NREL employees may be eligible for, but are not guaranteed, performance-, merit-, and achievement- based awards that include a monetary component. Some positions may be eligible for relocation expense reimbursement.

* Based on eligibility rules

Submission Guidelines

Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any position at NREL you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

More Information

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15013 Denver W Pkwy

CO 80401 Golden , United States