MSL is pleased to announce that the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) has joined its Member consortium. ACEP is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The Center provides leadership in developing energy systems for islanded, non-integrated electric grids and their associated oil-based heating systems.
ACEP, which has a long and distinguished track record in energy innovation, is also joined in the MSL consortium by a new organization, the Alaska Microgrid Group (AMG). AMG is a non-profit established to support implementation of resilient, robust, and affordable local power systems around the world.
A Living Lab and Testbed
Alaska, with its diffuse population, challenging climate and geography, and lack of surface transportation infrastructure, has developed one of the highest concentrations of microgrids in the world. The state is a global leader in microgrid technology with:
- 15% of microgrids worldwide with grid-scale levels of renewable generation.
- The largest number of established renewable-hybrid microgrids in the United States, including close to 50% of U.S. installed capacity.
- More than 200 islanded diesel-powered microgrids, with more than 70 that have integrated local renewable energy resources into the existing diesel system.
- Over four million operating hours integrating grid-scale renewables on islanded microgrids.
Alaska Center for Energy and Power Approach
ACEP develops and showcases practical, cost-effective, and innovative energy solutions that impact Alaskans and communities around the world, and is increasingly leading the process of integrating more renewable generation into the state’s microgrid fleet.
Integration is a central feature of the ACEP program. Because many of the issues related to implementing innovative energy solutions are complex, the program must not only address the technical integration of renewables with these small isolated diesel-based energy systems, but must also look at integration from a broader perspective: integration of solutions into the social realities of a community, integration of the cultural fabric into sustainable energy solutions, integration of university researchers across disciplines and with community partners; and integration of ACEP facilities and resources with those of its national partners.
The Alaska Microgrid Group
AMG concurrently offers access to this expertise developed over decades of successful microgrid activity. AMG’s partners include utility operators and managers, developers, and researchers with deep experience in building and operating microgrid projects across Alaska. The AMG team offers centuries of experience in making microgrids work in the real world. Recent work by members of the Group has helped communities, utilities, entrepreneurs and homeowners in Alaska, and internationally. AMG offers a portfolio of services that can be tailored to meet a diverse range of client interests and priorities.
ACEP’s and AMG’s knowledge, experience, learnings, and facilities will complement the MSL network in many important respects, and we look forward to substantive collaborations in the near future.