Microgrid Companies Win Technology Support from Alaska Center for Energy and Power

May 29, 2018
Microgrid companies continue to find fertile turf in Alaska, this time with the help of a competition offered by the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization.

Microgrid companies continue to find fertile turf in Alaska, this time with the help of a competition offered by the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization.

Led by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP), the three-year-old competition provides technical and business assistance to improve microgrid technologies and give new ventures a boost.

Intergrid, an inverter company based in Temple, N.H., won the competition’s grand prize laboratory testing award. The award includes 40 lab days, which the company will use for testing its equipment at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Able to evaluate equipment under a range of real-world scenarios, the lab will offer a setting for Intergrid to test the design for a replicable energy storage system meant for rural Alaskan communities.

“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 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, a privately funded company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., working on design of a cost-effective, reliable, carbon-free nuclear reactor.

The award provides 125 hours of technical consultation and analysis. 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, Oklo CEO.

The microgrid companies were selected based on the reviews and recommendations of an independent panel of technical, financial and commercialization experts.

Why Alaska?

With 12 percent of the world’s microgrids, Alaska has become a seed region for microgrid innovation. Remote villages with little or no access to the grid make for an ideal setting for microgrids, as does the state’s high cost of electricity, second only to Hawaii in the U.S.

The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization is funded 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.

Track news about emerging microgrid companies. Follow Microgrid Knowledge on Twitter @MicrogridNews.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Types of Microgrids

Dec. 4, 2023
No two microgrids are the same. Check out two types of microgrids with these real-life case studies.

Get the full report.

Think Like a Financier to Win Funding for Your Microgrid Project

Get the new special report that lays out how investors and other financiers think about energy projects. The aim is to help move a microgrid from the drawing board to reality ...