Institute for Energy Solutions (IES) is a member institution of the Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies (AIRES). IES provides a hub for cross-college energy science, policy and technology research and development, which benefits the public and enhances the land-grant mission of the University of Arizona. The Institute is a platform for energy experts, who work closely with industry, NGOs, government, and communities to address emerging energy challenges and opportunities.  

Specifically, the Institute promotes team building with the AIR mission and network to address new and emerging basic science needs; more reliably integrate renewable energy into the grid through the Power Forecasting Group and energy storage research initiatives; develop novel materials for energy conversion, energy-efficient water use and intelligent building technologies; support regional test beds and facilities and study the societal and economic impacts of technological advancements.  Through partnerships, we expand our breadth of social, scientific, economic, and engineering capabilities to transfer knowledge from the laboratory to the field. 

IES works to advance research, outreach and educational activities at the University of Arizona, focused on creating safe, resilient, and secure Energy Solutions.  The institute builds on the success of the University of Arizona Renewable Energy Network (UAREN) to create an organization that expands the collaboration with others to respond to the deeply interrelated sustainability issues associated with the energy-water-food nexus and implements solutions that reach under-served populations on a regional scale.

Strategic Initiatives

The IES team is organized around the promotion of four strategic funding initiatives:

  • Manufacturing
    • Focus on work force development, broader industry, and national lab connections/collaborations.
    • Addressing printable solar solutions and the national need for semiconductor manufacturing.
  • State Solar Energy Institute
    • Future initiatives include strategic partnerships to develop the critical mass required for large center proposals. 
  • Native Nations and Rural Development
    • Genesis of meaningful, genuine partnerships with nations and rural communities to promote the development of scale energy solutions through workforce development, education and training for faculty, students, and stakeholders.
  • Modeling for a Resilient Future
    • Development of dynamically consistent weather and climate data sets to be coupled with hydrological, solar, and wind energy generation.
    • Consulting with stakeholders, including electric and water utilities, agriculture, and under-served communities, to create electrical grid models focusing on the western U.S. models and applications. 

Additional strategic initiatives will be developed through faculty engagement and collaborations with Research, Innovation and Impact, industry partners, and stakeholders.

IES and the Energy-Water-Food Nexus

Erin Ratcliff headshot

Erin Ratcliff

Co-Director, Institute for Energy Solutions, AIRES Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering (Tenured)
Jonathan Bean headshot

Jonathan Bean

Co-Director, Institute for Energy Solutions, AIRES Assistant Professor of Architecture, Sustainable Built Environments and Marketing
Cara Shopa headshot

Cara M. Shopa

Program Coordinator, Indige-FEWSS Program Manager, Office of Societal Impact
Torran Anderson headshot

Torran Anderson

Community Engagement Coordinator, Indige-FEWSS