Online Boot Camp Arms Participants with Valuable Microgrid Knowledge

Online Boot Camp Arms Participants with Valuable Microgrid Knowledge

Fifteen students participated in the second Microgrid Boot Camp, which was held in an online format this year due to coronavirus restrictions. The participating students are current mechanical, electrical and computer science engineering students, with eight from the University of Alaska campuses and two from outside of Alaska. Interested community and industry members also participated to learn more about microgrids.

The boot camp, a collaboration between ACEP and the Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions at Arizona State University, introduced energy regulations and policies, power systems design, financial considerations and challenges of renewables integration to the participants.

The students researched and used their own community energy data to explore renewable energy integration with existing energy systems through instructor-led exercises and presentations.

"Students are creating estimated yearly load profiles for Alaska villages of their choice and using that data to design microgrids that are economically feasible for the area,” said Dr. Samantha Janko, managing director of the ASU lab.

The simulated results of these microgrid models allow students to engage in conversation about how renewable and traditional electrical generation can be beneficial to villages and in what combination. Students also are considering scenarios where financial incentives can make certain generation types more or less feasible.

Ten of the boot camp students will also participate in the ACEP Utility Student Internship, where they will work on projects in collaboration with Alaska utilities throughout the summer.

Two other boot camp students graduates have been selected to participate in the 2020 Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy.

The village of Solomon is working on the design of a new microgrid, which they are planning on rebuilding. The community, 30 miles east of Nome, has been working on its renewable energy plan since 2018.

“We need to rebuild an entire infrastructure since we only have a 10 kW diesel generator for all energy needs which only powers our community facility/bed and breakfast,”, said Deilah Johnson, who also was selected to participate in the 2020 ARENA program.

The microgrid boot camp 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. This year’s boot camp is funded by the Office of Naval Research.

Boot camp graduates receive one credit through the UAF Bristol Bay Campus.

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


Students used the XENDEE program in an exercise led by ASU researchers to design renwwable energy systems for Alaska communities of their choice.  Amanda Toedral chose the community of Koyuk, and this is a screenshot of her simulated energy system.