Christopher Clack

Chris Clack is a mathematician with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Boulder, Colorado. He is the technical lead in a team studying site optimization for wind and solar energy. The goal is to determine at what level the United States can support itself on renewable energy sources, and where to place these sources, to provide the least expensive, most efficient generation system with the smallest possible environmental impact. Collaborating with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration he is using linear programming to optimize the blend of wind, solar, and natural gas (and other conventional sources) for an optimal cost, when considering capital costs, fuel costs, transmission costs and electrical losses, using real weather data and electrical load. The research requires knowledge of US electrical generation, transmission and distribution systems, as well as meteorological data to model the renewable energy generation. In addition, he is investigating solar irradiance forecast improvements (including ramp events), wind energy forecast improvements, and renewable energy interactions between each other and the atmosphere. He is has a passion for both research and teaching. In the past he has studied resonant absorption of magnetohydrodynamic waves within the solar atmosphere, with broader interest in helioseismology, coronal seismology, mean shear flows, and observations. He has taught multiple university courses in mathematics, engineering, and physics.


  • –present
    Research Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration