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

Radio interview explores utility internship

Utility interns participate in a weeklong microgrid bootcamp as part of their internship. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

Heike Merkel, operations manager for the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, spoke about the upcoming 2020 ACEP utility student internship and microgrid boot camp during an interview with journalism associate professor and KFBX radio host Robert Prince.

During the interview, Merkel spoke about the internship, which takes applications from engineering, computer science and economics students enrolled at any University of Alaska institution.

Last year, eight student interns were paired with utilities and energy entities around the state. Several students continued on projects with ACEP afterward, and one intern gained full-time employment with the internship utility.

This year, students can receive up to four credits during their internships.

Applications are still being accepted for the internship. Apply here. Contact Heike Merkel at hmerkel@alaska.edu.

Source: Radio interview explores utility internship

Student Intern Opportunity

Kurt Nunn (right), a 2019 intern, talks with Cordova Electric Project Manager Craig Kuntz as water spills from the Power Creek Hydro Project. Photo by Amanda Byrd.

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power is looking for utility student interns for spring and summer 2020. Students in the program will gain hands-on experience with utilities around Alaska, learn about the challenges of integrating renewable energy sources into a grid, and become versed in microgrids and associated technologies.

The ACEP utility summer internship program consists of a spring semester lecture series, a five-day microgrid boot camp and a 12-week internship during the summer semester.

Application reviews begin Monday, Nov. 18. For more information, visit the internship program website or contact Heike Merkel at hmerkel@alaska.edu.

Source: Student interns sought for ACEP spring, summer program – UAF News and information

Four Clean Energy Startups Selected for Launch Alaska Business Accelerator

Launch Alaska has announced the four companies to participate in its 2018 business accelerator in Anchorage, AK. Four energy companies will complete a four month intensive program and receive mentorship, business training, business services, and $75,000 in exchange for equity in their companies.

With the highest cost of electricity and some of the highest per-capita energy consumption in the U.S., Alaska is hungry for energy innovation because of the out-sized impact that energy costs have on residents’ pocketbooks. Participation in the cohort provides a unique opportunity for a company to test its technology in remote and harsh conditions.

Read about the 2018 Launch Alaska Cohort Participants here.

Source: Four Clean Energy Startups Selected for Launch Alaska Business Accelerator