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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Project Leader - Energy Equity Projects and Initiatives in Golden, Colorado

Posting Title

Project Leader - Energy Equity Projects and Initiatives



CO - Golden


Position Type



Hours Per Week



Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Protocols

Employment at NREL is contingent upon your compliance with all NREL and DOE safety protocols and mitigation efforts directed at the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, NREL requires all employees to be immunized against COVID-19. Upon hire, new employees must be prepared to provide proof of vaccination on your first day of employment. All employees must have completed vaccinations by November 1, 2021.

Working at NREL

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 Integrated Decision Support (IDS) group within the Integrated Applications Center (IAC) is focused on helping partners transition to clean energy by applying NREL research, analysis, and experience in real-world contexts in order to solve problems and support decision making. Staff backgrounds in IDS include public policy, urban planning, systems thinking, economics and finance, engineering, and project management.

IDS is leading or contributing to several multi-year projects that are fully focused on energy equity or energy justice in the context of specific cities and communities across the country, such as Round 3 of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) ( . IDS is also supporting several initiatives at NREL to advance the state-of-the-art of applying an energy equity lens in individual technology areas (e.g., solar or buildings) and across NREL’s portfolio of projects spanning applied efforts to early-stage R&D. These projects and internal initiatives are in support of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy justice efforts (see DOE’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity for more here ( ).

For these projects and this position, energy equity generally refers to supporting an equitable (or just) clean energy transition that includes and prioritizes economic and social participation in the transition of underserved or disadvantaged communities, such as low to moderate income communities or communities of color that have had more limited participation in the clean energy transition to date. Energy equity in this context includes access to clean energy but is intended to go beyond access to a broad suite of the benefits that clean energy can provide accruing to or staying within community (e.g., wealth creation opportunities).

To support these ongoing projects and additional upcoming equity-focused efforts, IDS is seeking a Project Leader for our Energy Equity Projects and Initiatives. This staff member would lead or contribute to efforts to develop, apply, or adapt novel approaches to advancing energy equity in communities across the United States. In addition, this role will contribute to new approaches for NREL to apply energy equity across research, analysis, and technical assistance efforts that NREL leads or contributes to.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated track record of leading or contributing technically complex, stakeholder-driven projects or programs in a professional setting.

  • Professional experience in equity-focused projects, programs, or initiatives in particular.

  • Relevant academic background, which could include (but is not limited to) economics, public policy, resilience, urban planning, regulation, decarbonization, sustainability, environmental studies and/or climate mitigation (ideally through the lens of energy equity or with a focus on energy equity related topics).

  • Strong research and analysis, project management, stakeholder relationship management, and communication skills.

  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite

  • Familiarity with online collaboration platforms (e.g., Webex, MS Teams, Zoom, etc.)

  • Note: Engineering backgrounds can be applicable, but are not required .

Job Duties:

  • Lead and support various energy equity focused projects at NREL, including scoping project efforts, working across NREL to build teams to effectively serve community needs, implementing projects, and evaluating impacts.

  • Support NREL in weaving energy equity into lab-level strategy

  • Thought leadership on best practices to drive energy equity, including writing and publishing findings, new methodologies, or best practices. drawn from project efforts and internal NREL energy equity efforts. Typical formats would include technical reports, factsheets, and other resources such as blog posts.

  • Note: The most central activities of this role are research, analysis, and collaboration with communities and decisionmakers to advance energy equity in community or locally driven contexts. Project management skills are essential to be successful, but traditional project management (tracking progress and milestones and budgets) is not the defining contribution of someone in this role.

Projects tend to include applied research, analysis, and technical assistance to support communities in achieving their goals. These projects often include approaching stakeholder challenges or objectives in a thorough manner, collaborative engagement with relevant stakeholders, and translating outputs into digestible and actionable formats for communities and partners, including relevant decisionmakers. Projects invariably require innovation and pushing the cutting-edge of approaches, techniques, business models, policies, etc. to move the needle in centering energy equity in the clean energy transition.

Please submit a cover letter. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.


Basic Qualifications

This role can be hired at a level III or a level II:

Level III:

PhD in Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, or other related discipline or equivalent relevant education/experience. Or, Master's Degree in Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, or other related discipline and 3 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience. Or, Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, or other related discipline and 5 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience. Advanced understanding and application of project management principles, concepts, practices and standards. Advanced knowledge of technical field and related disciplines. Contributes to the development of new principles and concepts. Excellent interpersonal, conflict resolution, teaming and communication skills.

Level II:

Master's Degree in Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, or other related discipline or equivalent relevant education/experience. Or, Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy, Economics, Business, Engineering, or other related discipline and 2 or more years of experience or equivalent relevant education/experience. Complete understanding and application of project management principles, concepts, practices and standards. Full knowledge of technical field and related disciplines. Very good interpersonal, conflict resolution, teaming and communication skills.


Additional Required Qualifications

  • Relevant coursework or experience in economics, energy policy, international development, public policy, resilience, regulation, decarbonization, sustainability, and/or climate mitigation.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Professional experience in related fields.

  • Professional experience in equity-focused projects, programs, or initiatives in particular.

  • Proven track record building or engaging with stakeholder networks


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

Annual Salary Range: $73,900 - $133,100

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- and long-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; paid holidays; and tuition reimbursement. 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. Limited-term positions are not eligible for long-term disability or tuition 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.


EEO Policy

NREL is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard basis of age (40 and over), color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, military or veteran status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, creed, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding), sexual orientation, and any other applicable status protected by federal, state, or local laws.

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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.

NREL is subject to Department of Energy (DOE) access restrictions. All candidates must be authorized to access the facility per DOE rules and guidance within a reasonable time frame for the specified position in order to be considered for an interview. DOE rules for site access during the interview process are the same regardless of whether the candidate is interviewed on-site, off-site, or via telephone or videoconference. Additionally, DOE contractor employees are prohibited from participating in certain Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Programs (FGTRPs). If a candidate is currently participating in an FGTRP, they will be required to disclose their participation after receiving an offer of employment and may be required to disengage from participation in the FGTRP prior to commencing employment. Any offer of employment is conditional on the ability to obtain work authorization and to be granted access to NREL by the Department of Energy (DOE). We understand that COVID-19 may have caused delays or closures at offices, consulates, and embassies. However, NREL cannot make exceptions to work authorization and access requirements, and exceptions to these requirements are not being made for COVID-19 related delays.

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