About ISES

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Since 2000, the mission of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions (ISES) has been to provide society with energy experts, who through their research and outreach help shape energy decision-making in both the private and public sectors while increasing the public's energy literacy. ISES advances renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy utilization through research and education initiatives at the university and in the community at the local, state, and regional levels in partnership with research centers and organizations. Our work promotes to the advancement and understanding of the "triple bottom line" - social, economic, and environmental sustainability - when it comes to energy use and generation.

Click here for a pdf overview of ISES.

Areas of Focus

Research, Development, and Demonstration: Faculty-led projects in partnership with industry, national laboratories, private foundations, Native American tribes, and other external partners.

Technology Transfer: Facilitation of partnerships that promote development of intellectual property and business start-ups or expansions.

Business Planning, Conceptualization, Analysis and Realization:Development of sustainable business models and rigorous economic evaluation of energy solutions. This includes business planning assistance, business viability testing, and economic analysis of markets, business potential and success.

Educational and Technical Programs: Enhancement of sustainable energy programs and courses (e.g. in Engineering, Business, and the Sciences), development of new programs/ courses, and graduation of students capable of moving society to a sustainable energy future. This includes workforce needs assessments and development of specialized education programs with these partners.

Outreach: Further development of the University's sustainable energy partnerships and outreach programs, education of policymakers and the broad public, and distribution, publication and presentation of research results. The Institute will partner with related organizations such as the Southwest Renewable Energy Institute in performing outreach.


Since its inception in 2001, ISES has made considerable contributions to the use of sustainable energy. Some contributions of note include:

  • Development of new NAU business and engineering courses that address renewable energy sources
  • The spin-off of a new wind energy company: Windfinders, LLC and TecVerde, LLC
  • Serving as client and adviser for senior capstone design projects
  • The production of the high resolution wind map
  • On the average of $400,000/year in leveraged external funds
  • Management of Arizona Wind for Schools project and NAU National Collegiate Wind Competition team
  • Establishment of the Southwest Renewable Energy Conference and Southwest Renewable Energy Institute
  • Expanding the Southwest Sustainability Exposition (Southwest Renewable Energy Fair)
  • Authoring of several peer-reviewed Journal articles and National conference papers
  • Graduates working as engineers in the wind and renewable energy industry
  • Students who have work at the National Renewable Energy Lab and Sandia National Lab
  • Establishment of the Arizona Wind Working Group
  • Establishment of the Arizona Geothermal Wind Working Group