Week of the Arctic Showcases UAF Energy Research

Hundreds of delegates from around the world were in Fairbanks for the Arctic Interchange.

For researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), the global spotlight is a chance to showcase their work on sustainable energy.

UAF research professor George Roe said right now the diesel generator is the backbone of villages around Alaska. He and his colleagues at the Alaska Center for Power and Energy (ACEP) want to change that.

“We’ve got wind, we’ve got solar,” Roe explained to a group of international journalists, as he showed them around the facility.

Engineers at ACEP can replicate wind streams, river currents and solar energy in the lab and test systems before they’re sent to rural Alaska.

Roe said renewable energy work being done in the Last Frontier can be applied all over the world.

“Alaska’s motto is: North to the future,” Roe said. “We’re required, almost mandated to share what we’re learning and to find opportunities to work with other people and learn from them as well.”

Roe points to Kodiak as a city leading the way in sustainability. Nearly 100 percent of the community’s energy needs are supplied by a combination of wind and water.

“It’s a huge knowledge export opportunity for the state. And in this time of economic diversification, taking this Alaskan know-how and sharing it with other remote communities,” Roe said.

Watch the news segment and read the full article here.

Source: Week of the Arctic showcases UAF Energy Research » KTVA 11

UAF Announces Recipients of Microgrid Competition Awards

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has announced the winners of its first Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization industry competition.

UniEnergy Technologies, a flow battery company based in Mukilteo, Washington, will receive the Microgrid Project laboratory testing award. The award includes 25 dedicated lab days, consultation with staff and testing in the Power Systems Integration Lab at the UAF Alaska Center for Energy and Power. The lab can evaluate equipment under a range of real-world scenarios and emulates the microgrids and operating conditions found in rural Alaska.

“With the accelerating deployment of microgrids globally, including in cold-weather climates, the need for long-duration and long-life energy storage solutions such as UET’s advanced vanadium flow batteries is now widely-recognized,” said Russ Weed, UET’s vice president for business development and marketing. “We very much appreciate the Microgrid Competition award and anticipate working closely with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power.”

The university is also awarding two Technology Seed awards: one to Ocean Renewable Power Company, a marine renewable technology and project developer with headquarters in Portland, Maine, and one to DONμT Energy Technologies from Palo Alto, California, a software developer focusing on robust microgrid design tools. These awards include 125 hours of technical consultation with the PSI team.

The companies were selected from a competitive pool of applicants and based on the review and recommendations of an independent panel of technical and commercialization experts.

The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization, led by ACEP, was launched in August 2015 with funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the University of Alaska. It focuses on providing the technical and business assistance required to accelerate commercialization of technology to improve the affordability and reliability of microgrid energy systems. The University of Alaska Anchorage Business Enterprise Institute partners with ACEP on the center.

Navigant Research and GTM Research have estimated that microgrids could be a multi-billion-dollar global market over the next decade. In 2016, the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization launched the industry competition to help entrepreneurs in the western United States move their concepts toward commercialization so U.S.-based companies could capture those local and global microgrid markets.

Another round of the competition ​is planned for summer 2017.  Additional information will be posted on the ACEP website.

Source: UAF News

 

Alaska Sea Grant Hosts Free Science Symposium in Kodiak

KodScienceSymposium
Alaska Sea Grant will host the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium from April 18-21 at the Kodiak Harbor Convention Center. The event connects the Kodiak community to regional marine science research.

The symposium provides a forum for researchers to share their findings with other scientists and the public. It also offers an opportunity for fishermen and other residents to understand how Kodiak’s marine environment and resources function, change and affect them. In addition, the symposium can help researchers plan integrated, cooperative and community-inspired marine research.

Topics will include climate change and its effects on Alaska fisheries and seabirds, underwater archaeology, marine debris removal, socioeconomic risks of military training in the Gulf of Alaska, ocean acidification and paralytic shellfish poisoning. The subject matter will be organized thematically, with a cross-disciplinary approach to encourage dialogue among disciplines.

This is the third Kodiak symposium; it was most recently held in 2014. New this year, each session will be followed by a facilitated discussion to engage participants.

The symposium is free and open to the public. An agenda and more information are available online.

Alaska Sea Grant is a statewide marine research, education and outreach program operated as a partnership between the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program agents provide assistance that helps Alaskans wisely use, conserve and enjoy marine and coastal resources.

Source: Alaska Sea Grant hosts free science symposium in Kodiak – Alaska Business Monthly

Workforce Wednesday: Careers in Behavioral Health for Rural Alaskans

The Rural Human Services program connects rural Alaskans to careers in healthcare and behavioral health. It’s a 32-credit program that is a part of the the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rural Academic Pipeline. The program is offered in Anchorage, Bethel and the Kuskokwim campuses.

Annie Hopper, the program’s manager, said one aspect that’s unique to the program is it blends traditional Alaska Native values with Western education. As such, elders are a vital part of the program.

Martha Peck with the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium said there isn’t a shortage of jobs with approximately 171 clinics in rural Alaska. Those jobs include village-based counselors and prevention workers. Job seekers can expect a pay range from $15-$30 an hour, depending on education and experience. Hopper added that employees are needed throughout the state.

For more information on the Rural Human Services program and how to get started, head to its website. To learn about Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium, visit their website.

Watch the full video segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Careers in behavioral health for rural Alaskans | KTVA 11

Workforce Wednesday: Becoming a Power Dispatcher

Power dispatchers are the people who help keep the lights on for Alaskans from Anchorage to Cooper Landing. According to Mike Miller, a power dispatcher with Chugach Electric Association, they even forecast energy usage for customers during special events like the Super Bowl. A power dispatcher makes sure there is a stable power grid so those Alaskans can reliably get electricity. Miller said in the event of an outage, a dispatcher will coordinate with crews working in the field so power can be restored quickly and safely.

Cari-Ann Carty with Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium said there’s a lot of career opportunities for a power dispatcher as most major communities in Alaska have a power utility company. Carty mentioned two ways to start a career as a power dispatcher. The first is to get a degree in electrical engineering like Miller. The other way is getting an internship or apprenticeship program through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The pay ranges from $25 to $55 an hour.

For more information on becoming a power dispatcher and to see who’s hiring, head to APICC.org.

Watch the full Workforce Wednesday segment here.

Source: Workforce Wednesday: Becoming a power dispatcher | KTVA 11