ACEP’s Utility Internship Program – Learning by Doing

ACEP’s Utility Internship Program – Learning by Doing

As part of ACEP’s overall commitment to developing the workforce of the future, the ACEP Utility Internship Program focuses on providing real-world training and experience that complements the academic learning for UA students.

Twelve students are participating in this year’s internship program, serving (virtually for now) in utilities and other energy-oriented organizations from Alaska’s Northwest to Southeast and all across the Interior.

Structured as a partnership with Alaska’s utilities and energy industries, the program provides the host organizations with a wide-reaching recruitment pathway, robust complementary mentoring and support for the interns, and the opportunity to leverage ACEP’s internal and external network for energy research and technology maturation.

Now in its second year, the ACEP Utility Internship program is underway as a collaborative effort with the UAF Bristol Bay Campus. To prepare for their internships, the students participated in an energy lecture series during the spring semester and a Microgrid Boot Camp in early May, engaging them with the various energy issues and challenges in Alaska.

Through the energy lecture series, students interacted with speakers from utilities, government agencies, private industry and research institutes. These professionals familiarized participants with the overall Arctic energy landscape and shared insights from successes as well as difficulties drawn from a broad range of projects.

The 2020 Microgrid Boot Camp was conducted as a completely virtual experience, immersing the interns in a combination of lecture, modeling and interaction focused on helping them develop a better understanding of the technical, financial and regulatory skills associated with designing and operating a microgrid. The Microgrid Boot Camp drew on expertise from Arizona State University’s Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions, ACEP personnel and laboratory resources, and the Alaska Energy Authority.

Introductions to the interns and highlights from their experiences will be featured in ACEP This Week articles throughout the summer. At the end of their assignment, all of the interns will each document their experiences via vodcasts that will be accessible via the ACEP website.

For more information on the internship program, please contact Heike Merkel at