Head and shoulders shot of Garrett Nilsen.

Garrett Nilsen is the Acting Director for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office, which advances research and development in solar energy technologies. Garrett has managed over a hundred research and development projects covering all technology spaces in the office. Multiple technologies from projects he managed are now actively used in the solar energy industry. In addition, Garrett has been involved in the development of prize programming, technical assistance efforts, and data analysis. Garrett specializes in the transition of research and knowledge to stakeholders across the solar energy industry.

Garrett joined the office in 2012, and has had led both the Manufacturing and Competitiveness team and the Balance of Systems Soft Costs team. He has worked with businesses of all sizes focusing on the development of innovative products and manufacturing technologies to help drive down costs and increase the deployment of solar energy. He has helped innovators in the solar energy space de-risk their research, products and processes to make them attractive to private investment along with helping them access the resources and develop the skills needed to make an impact on solar energy.

He has also worked on the other side of government contracting—from 2007-2009, he worked as an optical engineer for Technologies Solutions and Invention, a small business in Connecticut that was an awardee on government contracts to develop optics-based devices for various government customers.

Garrett has a B.S. in physics from Union College in New York and an M.S. in solar energy engineering from Hogskolan Dalarna (Dalarna University) in Sweden.