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Sandia National Labs

About Sandia National Laboratories

Through the Secure and Sustainable Energy Future Mission, Sandia National Laboratories helps to enable an uninterrupted and enduring supply of energy from domestic sources and supports the reliability and resiliency of the associated energy infrastructure. This mission is braced by ongoing lab efforts to drive the development and deployment of energy sources that are safe, efficient, and less dependent on scarce natural resources.

Sandia has been nationally recognized for connecting laboratories with small businesses through the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program, a 15-year-old initiative that provides unique lab capabilities and technical expertise to the private sector.


SNL provides a unique set of capabilities to companies operating in hydropower and Marine hydrokinetics (MHK) Hydropower.

MHK technologies include current energy conversion (CEC) devices, e.g., hydrokinetic turbines that extract power from water currents (riverine, tidal, and ocean) and wave energy conversion (WEC) devices that extract power from wave motion. We leverage decades of experience in engineering and design and analysis (D&A) of wind power technologies, and its vast research complex, including high-performance computing (HPC), advanced materials and coatings, nondestructive inspection, complex systems simulation, and large-scale testing. Research projects often involve highly collaborative partnerships between Sandia, industry, and academia to respond quickly with impactful results.

Models and tools include:

  • Reference Model Project
  • Open-Source Codes: CACTUS, WEC-Sim, SNL-SWAN, and SNL-EFDC



  • Analytic tools for optimizing basin-scale hydropower operations and maximizing power generation & environmental performance


  • Turbulent Combustion Laboratory
  • Sea Wolf-Sediment Transport Lab
  • Simulating WAves Nearshore
  • Wave Energy Converter SIMulator (WEC-Sim)

Additional Information

Photo of hydropower chart showing longitude/latitude and different levels of water currents displayed in red, yellow, green, and blue.
Photo of a chart of a wind turbine showing the levels and speeds of the circulation of the turbine.