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Pacific Northwest National Lab

About Pacific Northwest National Lab

At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, more than 4,300 people are solving complex national problems with the shared vision that our science and technology inspire and enable the world to live prosperously, safely and securely. Located in Richland, Wash., PNNL is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Our $1 billion annual research portfolio includes partnering with other government agencies, universities, industry and entrepreneurs. PNNL's multidisciplinary scientific teams are brought together to address challenges in fundamental science, national security, energy, and the earth. Learn more at


At PNNL, we believe that greater energy efficiency through improved technologies for enabling renewables — such as wind and water power — can lead to timely solutions to our nation's energy challenges. We are a team of chemical, environmental, and materials scientists, economists, and engineers who are finding more efficient ways to use energy resources in transportation, buildings, and industry, and advancing clean, renewable energy. PNNL leadership in science and engineering for sustainable hydropower in the Pacific Northwest is leading to increased fish passage safety and optimized hydroelectric power plants that can be applied at the national scale. Efficient and environmentally friendly energy generation is essential for meeting the demands of a growing consumer base.

Renewable Energy Analysis and Implementation

The Department of Defense is required to implement cost-effective renewable energy projects to meet federal and agency goals. This is achieved through analysis of available resources to the various installations, applicable technologies, project economics, regulatory issues, and mission impacts. These and other factors are used to identify feasible projects, which then enter the implementation process. Project implementation requires working closely with stakeholders to ensure project details are fully defined, regulations are met, and quality project partners are utilized.

Distributed Wind

PNNL conducts distributed wind market research and analysis, producing the annual Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications. The Market Report serves as a primary information resource providing data, analysis, and information to help consumers, policy makers, and industry players better understand the distributed wind market.


Marine Sciences Laboratory

PNNL manages DOE's only marine research laboratory. The Marine Sciences Laboratory, located on Sequim Bay in Puget Sound, offers research capabilities in ecotoxicology, analytical chemistry, wetland and coastal ecology, biotechnology, fisheries, ocean processes, remote sensing, remediation, water resources modeling, plus national and homeland security.

The MSL enables sustainable development of ocean energy; the understanding and mitigation of long-term impacts of human activities and climate change on marine resources; and protection of coastal environments from security threats. Facilities include:

  • General purpose laboratory space: 8,000+ square feet, including specialized lab areas for arsenic speciation, mercury analysis, sulfide analysis, radiochemistry labs, and a chemical repository; Class-100 Clean Laboratory Facilities; area for mycoremediation studies
  • Wet laboratory space: 6,000+ square feet supplied with heated and cooled freshwater and seawater, microbiology labs, large-pond for microalgae culturing
  • Research dock, outdoor experimental tanks, research vessels, scientific dive team
  • State-of-the-art water supply and treatment system
  • Coastal Security Institute: Developing methods to detect and characterize environmental phenomena

Aquatic Research Laboratory (ARL)

Based along the Columbia River, the Aquatic Research Laboratory supports a variety of research on fish and other aquatic life, covering topics as diverse as toxicology, bioengineering, and biosensor development — and the effects of hydropower and new generation hydroturbine design. Researchers in Richland's ARL specialize in fish bypass and turbine design by studying the impact of passage through hydroelectric dams on juvenile salmonids. The Mobile Aquatic Barotrauma Laboratory is equipped with four hyper/hypobaric chambers, allowing researchers to replicate complex pressure exposure conditions.

Photo of aerial view of PNNL campus by the water.
Photo of a gentleman standing inside of a lab with pipes and metal drums in the background and blue square metal cases in the foreground.