Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an asset for the nation, our region, and local communities. Headquartered in Richland, Washington, with growing locations in Sequim, Seattle, and Portland, we are one of the largest employers in Eastern Washington, the second-largest research institution in the state, and a major contributor to the regional economy.
PNNL takes a multidisciplinary approach to complex challenges. Collaborations—with utilities, industry, universities, ports, cities, Tribes, states, and more—are key to moving discoveries from the lab to impacts on the ground. We are eager to partner in our region to demonstrate new technologies or methods locally that can then be scaled nationally.
Supporting Our Regional Energy Transition
PNNL is committed to supporting our communities and region in a resilient, equitable, net-zero energy transition. We provide unbiased technical expertise and multidisciplinary studies to help decision makers, planners, and industry clarify needs and identify solutions to reduce carbon emissions while minimizing costs and burdens on communities.
Some areas where PNNL research and development studies and technical assistance are informing the regional energy transition include:
- Electric grid resilience and climate modeling
- Energy storage (batteries, hydrogen, and more)
- Energy equity and environmental justice
- Biofuels and bioproducts
- Carbon capture and storage
- Building energy codes and energy efficiency.
Strengthening the Regional Energy Innovation Ecosystem
National laboratories and federal investments play an important role in regional innovation ecosystems by providing foundational research infrastructure, developing new methods and technologies to address complex challenges, and strengthening the regional STEM workforce. Support from Washington State has helped to attract federal funding for key initiatives.
State-of-the-Art Research Facilities
Facilities like the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility; the Energy Sciences Center; the Systems Engineering Building; the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center; the PNNL Lab Homes; the Environmental Chambers; underwater testbeds; and soon-to-be-opened Grid Storage Launchpad provide state-of-the-art facilities for visiting researchers, joint university-PNNL appointees, and industry partners.
PNNL Campus as a Living Laboratory
We develop and test technologies on our own campus that can be adopted in our communities, the region, and across the nation. For example, we have developed and tested open-source transactive energy management technology on our own campus that was installed in Spokane’s Eco-District and has the potential to save billions if scaled nationally. Building on the Eco-District’s success, we’re also applying our expertise to make homes and commercial buildings more efficient through our Connected Communities.
PNNL is also one of four national laboratories participating in the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Labs Pilot Initiative. We have set a goal of transitioning our campuses to net-zero emissions and 24/7-carbon-free, energy-resilient operation by 2030. Along the way, we will be sharing lessons learned and information to support community and regional decarbonization efforts.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education and Workforce Development
PNNL’s Office of STEM Education helps to build understanding and excitement of STEM concepts and inspire pursuit of STEM careers through interactive learning opportunities for students, educators, and the community. Ongoing collaborations with regional partners, including school districts, higher education institutions, and other STEM partners reach approximately 30,000 students, 1,300 interns, and 700 teachers each year.
Moving PNNL Technology to the Regional Marketplace and Beyond
PNNL increases the economic impact of its federally funded research and development by speeding the transfer of technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. Businesses in the Pacific Northwest and beyond partner with PNNL to gain valuable insights into emerging and new technological developments and secure a competitive advantage. To browse more than 700 technologies that are currently available for commercialization, click here.