Nick joined the Webber Energy Group in August of 2018 as a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering. He is taking a one-year leave from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory while taking courses and developing his thesis proposal at UT Austin.
At NREL Nick works as a Research Engineer in Energy Systems Modeling. Nick’s primary work at NREL revolves around REopt – a techno-economic optimization model for determining the best mix of renewable energy and fossil fuel resources required to meet a wide range of goals, including cost savings, pollution reductions, and renewable energy portfolios. As a member of the REopt team, Nick is continuously adapting the REopt model to accommodate the latest technologies, market factors, and user goals.
Other recent projects include: developing a predictive model for over-voltage events in a residential distribution network with high-penetration solar PV in order to schedule flexible loads to prevent PV curtailment due to inverters with volt watt controls; incorporating the value of resilience into decision making tools for microgrid design and visualization; and standing up NREL’s Intelligent Campus platform for integrated energy informatics, advanced analytics, and actionable insights.
At a broad level, Nick’s research interests are identifying and overcoming the technical and market hurdles to integrating distributed, renewable energy resources, as well as the electrification of the energy economy. At the distribution edge, Nick is interested in control strategies and the Internet of Things for integrating smart buildings and electric vehicles into the electricity grid with win-win strategies for consumers and utilities.
M.S. Engineering Sciences, Dartmouth College, Thayer School of Engineering, Hanover, NH (Nov 2016)
B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Magna Cum Laude — Boston University, Boston (May 2005)
N.D. Laws, K. Anderson, N. DiOrio, X. Li, J. McLaren, Impacts of Valuing Resilience on Cost-Optimal PV and Storage Systems for Commercial Buildings. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.renene.2018.05.011
K. Anderson, N.D. Laws, S. Marr, L. Lisell, T.Jimenez, T. Case, X. Li, D.Lohmann, D. Cutler. Quantifying and Monetizing Renewable Energy Resiliency. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/su10040933
N.D. Laws, B.P. Epps, S.O. Peterson, M.S. Laser, G.K. Wanjiru. On the Utility Death Spiral and the Impact of Utility Rate Structures on the Adoption of Residential Solar Photovoltaics and Energy Storage. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2016.10.123
N.D. Laws, B.P. Epps. Hydrokinetic energy conversion: Technology, research, and outlook. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2015.12.189