ACEP Intern Models Proposed Geothermal Microgrid at Pilgrim Hot Springs

ACEP Intern Models Proposed Geothermal Microgrid at Pilgrim Hot Springs

Wayne Koelsch is a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an ACEP utility student intern for summer 2021. Koelsch will be using software by Xendee to model a proposed microgrid and produce preliminary load and cost information for the Pilgrim Hot Springs Geothermal Project. His mentor for the project is David Denkenberger, a researcher with ACEP and a UAF mechanical engineering faculty member. 

“I’m excited to learn more about the benefits and limitations of geothermal energy and microgrids in general,” said Koelsch.

Koelsch applied to the ACEP internship program because he is passionate about Alaska and saw it as a chance to learn more about the exciting progress going on around the state. 

“I have enjoyed seeing a window into the world of academic engineering research, especially in regard to renewable energy,” he added. Koelsch enjoys problem solving and is looking forward to the opportunities he will have to practice those skills during the internship this summer.

Koelsch was born and raised in Anchorage and hopes to live in Alaska for many years to come. When he isn’t at school or work, he enjoys playing upright bass, cross-country skiing, running, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, exploring Alaska, and flying with his friends and family. 

Koelsch’s project is part of the ACEP Utility Student Internship program and is funded by the Office of Naval Research. For more information on his internship project, please contact David Denkenberger at


Wayne Koelsch is an ACEP utility student intern this summer modeling a geothermal-powered microgrid at Pilgrim Hot Springs near Nome. Photo courtesy of Wayne Koelsch.