UAF announces winners of second microgrid competition

May 25, 2018

Marmian Grimes

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

Intergrid LLC, an inverter company based in Temple, New Hampshire, received the grand prize laboratory testing award. The award includes 40 lab days, which the company  will use for testing its equipment 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 will help Intergrid test the design of a replicable energy storage system for rural communities in Alaska.

“Intergrid is paving the way to increased use of renewable energy in Alaskan villages by developing inverters that can act as power electronics building blocks,” said Robert Wills, Intergrid LLC’s CEO. “An inverter, battery storage and controls are combined to form a ‘virtual generator’ that can be integrated easily into existing power systems. ACEP's involvement, including mentoring, hardware-in-the-loop simulation and real-world testing, ensures that our systems will be fully operational and reliable before being deployed at remote sites.”

ACEP also presented a technology seed award to Oklo Inc., a privately funded company based in Sunnyvale, California. The award provides 125 hours of technical consultation and analysis.

Oklo’s work focuses on designing cost-effective, reliable, carbon-free nuclear reactors. To help Oklo understand microgrid applications in Alaska, ACEP is evaluating possible settings for using the heat and power generated by the fast reactors that Oklo is envisioning. Oklo will be working with ACEP to disseminate highlights from the analysis.

“Our guiding principle is to make reactors people want. This means designing reactors that meet a specific customer need, rather than designing a reactor and subsequently searching out potential customers for that reactor,” said Jacob DeWitte, chief executive officer for Oklo.

The companies were selected from a competitive pool of applicants. Selection was based on the reviews and recommendations of an independent panel of technical, financial 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, the Office of Naval Research and the University of Alaska. The competition focuses on providing technical and business assistance to accelerate marketability of new microgrids and improve the affordability and reliability of microgrid energy systems.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: George Roe,, 206-454-9189​.