CESA Member Alaska
“Working together, we can achieve our shared vision of Alaskans leading the way in how energy is produced, distributed, and managed. We look forward to continuing to help address Alaska’s energy challenges and to build Alaska’s economy.”
The Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) is an applied energy research program based at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. ACEP provides leadership in developing energy systems for islanded, non-integrated electric grids and their associated oil-based heating systems. Because many of the issues related to implementing innovative energy solutions are complex, our 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 our facilities and resources with those of our national partners.ACEP aims to develop and disseminate practical, cost-effective, and innovative energy solutions for Alaska and beyond. Working across campuses and pulling from the University’s extensive resources and expertise, ACEP is interdisciplinary, needs-driven, and agile. ACEP has also developed a wide range of partnerships outside the University at the local, state, national and international level to ensure research conducted through ACEP will be relevant, current and world class.
Power Systems Integration Program
The Power Systems Integration Program works to optimize diesel-renewable hybrid energy systems for islanded electric microgrids. Because the majority of Alaska's rural communities are powered through diesel generation infrastructure, in order for renewable energy to be a solution, it must integrate with the existing systems to ensure reliability, power quality and economic viability. Researchers from ACEP's Power Systems Integration Program use tactics range from data analysis through modeling, to the testing of full-scale components in the Power Systems Integration Laboratory. The goal is to develop and test energy technology, disseminate lessons learned, and provide guidelines for the adoption of novel approaches to power systems integration in microgrids.
AHERC: Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center
Alaska has approximately 40% of the total river energy, approximately 90% of the total tidal energy and approximately 60% of the total wave energy in the U.S. To facilitate the development of hydrokinetic power in Alaska, ACEP established the Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC), which focuses on applied research and engineering to help communities, developers and other stakeholders address the questions of whether emerging hydrokinetic energy technologies are economically, technologically and environmentally sustainable.
Data Collection and Management
ACEP partners with state agencies and utilities to more systematically collect and process data from energy projects across the state. The goal is to provide tools to assist utilities in achieving the best performance of their systems and to help design the systems of the future. ACEP research staff and faculty team up to support individual projects by developing and executing a data and instrumentation plan tailored to the needs of our clients.
Energy Analysis Group
Addressing Alaska’s domestic energy challenges requires more than just assessing the technical and engineering feasibility of various options: it requires a holistic approach that also takes into account economic alternatives and social, legal, and regulatory barriers. ACEP’s Energy Analysis Group focuses on maximizing the efficient use of government resources and private capital to sustainably meet Alaska’s energy needs. Our goal is to leverage ACEP’s existing technical strengths to identify ways to meet Alaska’s domestic energy challenges while addressing economic, legal, and regulatory barriers and opportunities for the state and its residents.
GAP: Global Applications Program
ACEP has established the Global Applications Program (GAP) to assess the global opportunities for trade surrounding the use of energy systems in islanded grids. The goals are to develop a robust Alaska knowledge economy that can be exported globally and to create synergy with global entities in developing solutions and strategies in mitigating barriers to affordable, cost-stable, reliable, and secure energy. Alaska is home to 200+ small community microgrids distributed across its geographically diverse regions, and over 70 of these microgrids utilize renewable energy. By sharing lessons learned through projects in some of the most remote and challenging areas of the world, Alaskans are playing a key role in addressing energy poverty globally.
ACEP projects span a wide range of technologies. At any given time, ACEP has about 30 active research projects addressing Alaska-relevant issues, many partnering with communities and organizations across the state. Some recent or current projects include: liquid metal battery testing, geothermal resource assessment at Pilgrim Hot Springs, hydropower optimization in Cordova, diesel-off testing, biomass boiler performance assessment, and more.