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Karen Studarus

Karen Studarus

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Karen Studarus is a Senior Power Systems Engineer in the Electricity Infrastructure Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Her research includes power system flexibility, power system economics, hydropower scheduling, and the emissions consequences of distributed and renewable energy resources. She is a member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society and has been a DOE Hydropower Research Foundation Fellow. She received her B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, and is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington working on Operational Flexibility in the Federal Columbia River Power System.

Since joining PNNL in 2014, Karen has managed the Emissions Quantification Tool project, creating a web calculator to estimate the emissions consequences of smart grid infrastructure projects, studied the interface between grid and hydropower operations, and analyzed the Central American regional power market and transmission interconnect. Prior to PNNL, Karen consulted on modular energy storage systems. While at the University of Washington, Karen explored the operational consequences of integrating high levels of intermittent renewable energy with the grid, optimized hydropower dispatch schedules amid real world constraints, analyzed emissions consequences of emerging thermal unit operation regimes, and formulated MIP unit commitment with sub-hourly wind and interchange scheduling. She also worked for BEW Engineering where she created design tools for utility scale solar installations; and analyzed power purchase agreements, transmission agreements, and line loss studies for wind projects.

PNNL Publications


  • Barrett E.L., B.L. Thayer, K.E. Studarus, and S. Pal. 2017. "The Emissions Impacts of Varied Energy Storage Operational Objectives Across Regions." In IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech 2017), November 12-14, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona, 1-8. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-127302. doi:10.1109/SusTech.2017.8333503
  • Barrett E.L., B.L. Thayer, S. Pal, and K.E. Studarus. 2017. "Investigating Time-Varying Drivers of Grid Project Emissions Impacts." In IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech 2017), November 12-14, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona, 1-8. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-127300. doi:10.1109/SusTech.2017.8333482
  • Chin G., E.B. Fitzhenry, A.S. McBain, S.J. Beus, L.D. Marinovici, J. Hansen, and K.E. Studarus. 2017. "Visual Steering and Modeling Environment for Smart Grid Models and Simulations." In IEEE Power & Energy Society General Meeting (PES 2017), July 16-20, 2017, Chicago, IL. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-125480. doi:10.1109/PESGM.2017.8274093
  • Pal S., B.L. Thayer, E.L. Barrett, and K.E. Studarus. 2017. "Estimating the Impacts of Direct Load Control Programs Using GridPIQ, a Web-Based Screening Tool." In IEEE Conference on Technologies for Sustainability (SusTech 2017), November 12-13, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona, 1-8. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-127311. doi:10.1109/SusTech.2017.8333505
  • Pal S., E.L. Barrett, K.E. Studarus, and B.L. Thayer. 2017. "The Varied Impacts of Energy Storage and Photovoltaics on Fossil Fuel Emissions." In Power & Energy Society General Meeting, July 1-20, Chicago, Illinois, 1-5. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-122156. doi:10.1109/PESGM.2017.8274550

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