Alaska August Economic Trends

In August Trends, we detail the results of our annual rental market survey, estimate the income removed from Alaska’s economy by eliminating the federal supplemental unemployment benefit, and profile banks and credit unions from their beginnings to the challenges they face during the pandemic.

Source: Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Alaska June Economic Trends

In June Trends: This month we look at the oil industry’s history of employment swings and how this current round of losses differs. This issue includes an update on COVID-19-related job losses based on the first available detailed data, and on who received unemployment benefits in April as a result.

Source: Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp prepares students for utility internships

ACEP’s Jeremy Vandermeer simulates solar energy integrated into microgrid for 2019 boot camp participants. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

The second Microgrid Boot Camp is wrapping up this week. Previously a hands-on learning experience at Alaska Center for Energy and Power facilities in Fairbanks, the boot camp this year is held in an online format due to coronavirus restrictions. It remains a collaboration between ACEP and the Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions at Arizona State University.

The course was originally developed by LEAPS as part of the Naval Enterprise Partnership Teaming with Universities for National Excellence program, an energy research project funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to break new ground in alternative energy employment for student veterans.

The intensive five-day training focuses on technical, economic and regulatory basics of microgrids, with an emphasis on Alaska energy challenges. Camp participants earn one credit through the UAF Bristol Bay Campus and are primarily University of Alaska undergraduate students who have been selected for the ACEP Utility Student Internship program.

This year the camp expanded to a full capacity of 16 participants: nine UA undergrad students, four students from out of state and three participants from a regional tribal consortium. ACEP intends to continue expanding the reach of the course in the future to utility members, city and tribal councils, housing authorities, trade schools and programs, and utility industry personnel.

ACEP researchers, ASU collaborators and Alaska energy experts are engaging with the participants and sharing their expertise via sessions such as microgrid design activities, virtual Power Systems Integration Lab tour and demonstration, and Alaska Energy Authority powerhouse tours.  There will be a group collaboration project on electric vehicles and an energy audit activity, among other presentations, and virtual hands-on learning activities.

The boot camp outfits participants with the knowledge and skills to prime them for online-based summer internship project work with remote and railbelt utilities, many of which have started the process of integrating renewable and alternative energy sources into their grids.

The Microgrid Boot Camp is funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research.

For more information on the ACEP Microgrid Boot Camp, please contact Heike Merkel.

Source: Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp prepares students for utility internships – UAF Cornerstone