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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce
OIE Background

Office of Innovation and
Entrepreneurship (OIE)

University of Alaska Fairbanks


Fairbanks, Alaska

Project Name

Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization



Award Amount


Matching Amount


Given the economic plight in its rural areas, the State of Alaska has developed programs to reduce the extremely high cost of energy in rural Alaska.  With Alaska’s heavy investment in renewable energy technologies, coupled with the high cost of energy in rural communities, the state is especially well suited for the testing and implementation of many microgrid technologies.

The Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization will provide the technical and business assistance required accelerating commercialization, and implementation, of the technologies needed to improve the affordability and reliability of microgrid energy systems.  The market for suitably capable systems includes both domestic and export opportunities, with nearest term applications in remote and/or isolated regions characterized by high energy costs, such as those in Alaska and developing regions of the world.  In addition, there is a growing market opportunity for urban applications of microgrid technologies, due to the improved resilience and survivability they can provide in the face of natural disaster and human-caused challenges to larger grid structures.

The Center will access its experience base and its relationships with the utilities and companies operating the 200+ remote, isolated energy grids distributed across Alaska to document the critical issues, operational and environmental attributes, integration requirements, and logistical challenges that technology innovators will encounter.  Addressing these successfully will enable technology developers to implement their offerings effectively in Alaska contexts, leveraging the higher cost of energy in Alaska to accelerate investment recovery and to gather lessons learned that support expansion into the domestic, and export to the global, microgrid market.  The Center will also conduct a microgrid technology demonstration competition and provide business plan and entrepreneur support.