Utility Student Internship

What is the Microgrid Boot Camp?

Training Alaska's Next Energy Workforce Video

Thumbnail of Training Alaska's Next Workforce YouTube video

ACEP's Microgrid Boot Camp is a five-day intensive course designed both to prepare students for a summer internship with urban and rural Alaskan utilities, and as an introductory course to microgrids for utility engineers and staff.

Previous boot camps have featured collaborate teaching from experts at ACEP, Arizona State University, Cold Climate Housing Research CenterAlaska Energy Authority, and a PhD candidate at George Mason University's CCCC. Through applied learning, the boot camp teaches basic concepts and designs of microgrids and introduces economic, regulatory and social challenges in planning and operating those grids.

The Microgrid Boot Camp offers a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience and technical skills to analyze and think critically about operating and creating affordable, sustainable microgrids in Alaska. 

   Students learn through hands on activities taught by researchers.    Students look at demonstration   ACEP's Heike Merkel teaches students outside at the 2019 Microgrid Boot Camp

2021 Dates

  • Date:  May 10 - 14, 2021  Annually in May, proceeding UAF's spring semester.
  • Location:  Online 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions. Includes virtual tours of UAF/ACEP facilities in Fairbanks, Alaska, as well as presentations, group exercises and discussions. 



The Microgrid Boot Camp delves into many inter-related aspects of microgrids and the energy scene in Alaska. An interactive learning experience, the training course covers material through a variety of lectures, demonstrations, hands-on exercises, computer design tools, lab tours, and group discussions.

Topics from the most recent 2021 Microgrid Boot Camp included:

 Day 1
 Energy Landscape and Regional Challenges in Alaska: The 'Railbelt' vs. Microgrids  (Jeremy Vandermeer, ACEP)
 Alaska Energy Policies, Regulations & Economics  (Dominique Pride, ACEP) 
 How Social & Behavioral Science Can Help Us Understand and Modify Energy-Related Behaviors  (Dr. Kristin Timm, CCCC)
 Power-the-Grid Simulator Game  (ASU Team*)
 Day 2
 Motivations for Microgrids (ASU Team)
 Off-grid Microgrids and Mini-grids (ASU Team)
 Electrical and Thermal Load Estimation for Off-grid Microgrid Design (ASU Team)
 Renewable Energy Resource Assessment Group Exercise (Dr. Daisy Huang, ACEP)
 Day 3
 Introduction to XENDEE (Microgrid design tool) (ASU Team)
 Inputting Data Into XENDEE and Interpreting Results (ASU Team)
 Daily Life of a Powerhouse Operator (ASU/Justin Tuomi - AEA)
 Day 4
 Design Your Own Village Microgrid In XENDEE (ASU Team)
 PSI Lab Demonstration: Put Load Profile in SCADA and Run the PSI Lab (Jeremy Vandermeer, ACEP)
 Day 5
 Alaska Energy Ecosystem Map - VR Prototype (Chris McConnell - REAP/ANEEE)



*Arizona State University's Laboratory for Energy and Power Solutions (LEAPS) has been an integral partner with ACEP to teach the Microgrid Boot Camp. LEAPS engineers taught at ACEP's following boot camps:

The University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus supports the boot camp as a one-credit class.  

Past Microgrid Boot Camp funding was provided by the Office of Naval Research.

          undefined          Logo for Office of Naval Research, Science and Technology        UAF Bristol Bay Campus logo


More Information

For more information or if interested in attending a future Microgrid Boot Camp, please contact Heike Merkel at hmerkel@alaska.edu or Patty Eagan at pmeagan@alaska.edu.


Previous Years


             Microgrid Boot Camp 2020 Flyer                                           undefined


In the News


Students learn about ACEP's solar test site in Fairbanks, AK  Two Spots Left in the Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp!

            April 26, 2021

View from Google Earth online microgrid building activityOnline Boot Camp Arms Participants with Valuable Microgrid Knowledge

May 18, 2020

Students learn from researchers. Virtual Microgrid Boot Camp Prepares Students for Utility Internships

May 11, 2020

Jeremy Vandermeer shows the students a demonstration in the lab.Microgrid Boot Camp Prepares Students for Utility Internships

May 13, 2019

Hands-on learning at the boot camp outside. Microgrid Boot Camp - a Learn-By-Doing Experience

March 18, 2019


Interns' Summer Projects