NRECA Research

Research, development and demonstration of industry-changing technologies to benefit electric cooperatives

NRECA Research, a not-for-profit entity, was established in 2019 to complement the resources and services provided by NRECA to address the needs of electric cooperatives. Through NRECA Research, our members can leverage extensive internal expertise and established industry partnerships to develop and demonstrate new technical capabilities that directly address challenges and opportunities of the future electric grid.

NRECA Research makes the best use of funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (OE, EERE and ARPA-E) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA) and electric cooperative member dues as cost share. Research projects are conducted in collaborative partnerships with universities, national laboratories, utility vendors, military and electric cooperatives. This inclusive approach optimizes awareness, interest and opportunities of key industry stakeholders.

Our Goal:  Envisioning the Future and Helping to Bring it to Reality

NRECA Research envisions the future and works to make that future valuable and viable for electric cooperatives. We anticipate the challenges our members may face, solve them with applied science and engineering, and strive to create benefits for members in proportion to federal investments available in new research, development and demonstration of energy technologies. Our approach is to enable autonomous yet collaborative participation and to engage advisers, sounding boards and advocates for valuable insight and support.

Our Mission

Our mission focuses on four strategic concentrations:

  1. Energy Sector Cybersecurity for a secure present and future electric grid.
  2. Utility Data Analytics for the data-driven and analytic grid.
  3. Sensor and Control Networks for the integrated grid.
  4. Equity and Energy Access for fair, equitable use of the grid.

For each area, we work in partnerships to create scale and promote the capabilities and interests of electric cooperatives. We pride ourselves as trusted partners to federal agencies and exceptional stewards of federal resources. We provide actionable guidance to electric cooperatives and other participating entities to support decision-making, solutions application and reliable, resilient and affordable power. Our work aims to accelerate energy solutions to help America’s electric cooperatives meet and exceed the expectations of the consumer-members they serve.

Our Approach

We create a place for useful research, development and demonstration, providing value to our electric cooperative members. Our approach is centered on three pillars of research and development:

Current Project Topics

Our current research projects include the following:

  • Electric vehicles
  • Cyber strategy
    • Full-cycle service and technology engagement
    • Threat analysis and defense
  • Data & smart grid
    • Analytics, sensors, hybrid operator environments
  • All-hazards response
    • Wildfire + weather + cyber
  • Microgrids & renewables
    • Decarbonization pathways planning 
    • Microgrids 
    • Storage & distributed energy resources
  • Low- to moderate-income community engagement
    • Expansion of the energy access program to consider a thorough approach for energy equity

Additional Research

The Value of Cooperative Data: A Surveillance article by NRECA Research presents several considerations around utility data valuation, offers methods of valuing said data, and seeks to encourage co-ops and other utilities to more critically examine the value of their data—and who reaps those benefits.

Contact for Inquiries

Angela Strickland, NRECA senior vice president of Business and Technology Strategies

NRECA Research is a federally tax exempt entity under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.