About Us

About Us

Our areas of focus

The Resource Center’s three main focus areas are: Wind-Diesel Systems, Megawatt-Scale Wind Systems on Islanded Grids, and supporting island communities in close proximity to proposed commercial-scale offshore wind and other ocean energy projects. Through the links on this site, you can find profiles on existing and proposed wind systems, reports and discussion on technological and other developments, and connections to wind system operators and technical experts.

wind-diesel-hybrid

Wind-diesel hybrid systems exist in island and remote communities in Alaska, Hawaii, and New England as well as in Canada, Australia, and even Antarctica. By pairing existing diesel engines with wind turbines, communities can reduce their use of expensive (and often imported) fossil fuel. This technology is growing in use, and is continually being developed and refined.

large-islanded-grid

Large islanded grids are megawatt scale or larger wind farms located on islands such as Hawaii, or on “islanded grids” that are islanded in the sense they are not tied into any other grids. The “Railbelt” grid in Alaska that serves the state’s largest city Anchorage is an example of an islanded grid. Technical hurdles such as utility acceptance, permitting, and financing have often been significant for these systems as well as integration and load balancing.

offshore-wind

As the U.S. offshore wind industry develops, many island communities, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard, have become involved in discussions around siting, impacts and benefits of projects proposed in nearby waters. These communities are engaging with developers, regulators, industry experts and others in order to understand the implications of offshore wind development for their communities and to ensure their voices are heard in the decision-making processes around siting, construction, power offtake, and community benefits for offshore wind projects.

Our History

Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP) and the Island Institute in Maine started the Islanded Grid Resource Center in 2014 as a way to connect island and islanded communities across the United States to share information and expertise on energy challenges and opportunities, specifically those involving wind power. The Resource Center is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s WINDExchange program and by participant contributions. The goal is be a resource to connect islanded grid operators, researchers, technical experts, government agencies and communities across the United States and across the world so they can share information and collaborate to make well-informed decisions about wind power and other energy solutions.

Our Mission

The Islanded Grid Resource Center is committed to creating a self-sustaining knowledge center and resource for isolated islanded grids using or considering wind power. Our objective is to build a network of wind operators, government agencies, researchers, technical experts, and others to increase information sharing and capacity building for islanded grids, eliminate redundant efforts, promote collaboration, and ensure that best practices and performance analysis related to the operation of wind, wind-diesel hybrid and other hybrid systems are effectively disseminated. The three main focus areas of the Resource Center are wind-diesel systems, megawatt-scale systems on islanded grids, and support for island communities in close proximity to proposed commercial-scale offshore wind and other ocean energy projects. The group is open to any interested party. Current interested parties are located in Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Advisory Board

Michele DesAutels, US Coast Guard

Michele DesautelsMichele DesAutels works for the First Coast Guard District in the Maritime Energy and Marine Planning Branch of the Prevention Division. She joined the Coast Guard after time as a Renewable Energy Program Specialist in the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Renewable Energy Program. She was appointed as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) at the US Department of Energy Wind Program, leading their stakeholder engagement initiative, Wind Powering America. During her fellowship, Michele detailed as the Wind Program Lead at the Washington Office of the Bureau of Land Management. Prior to being selected as a PMF, Michele earned a dual Master’s at UMass Amherst, an MPPA in the Center for Public Policy and Administration and an MBA in the Isenberg School of Management. Michele’s professional experience before attending UMass includes 5 years at Microsoft, both in the Corporate Headquarters and New England Field Offices in roles ranging from Program and Business management to Relationship Marketing to over 200 enterprise organizations. Additionally, Michele worked for 3 years at Level 3 Communications, a large Telecommunications located in Broomfield, CO, where she also raised through the ranks from startup to full fledged company in the Engineering Department, with her departure as Chief of Staff to the CTO. Michele spent two years at MIT creating their Professional Learning Center, a computer and classroom based facility that became the epicenter for their Re-engineering effort. Finally, Michele started her public service career in the US Peace Corps as a Women’s Small Business Development Volunteer in Uzbekistan after graduating from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jim Manwell, University of Massachusetts

James F. Manwell has been working in field of wind energy for over 30 years in the United States and internationally. He is presently a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts and Director of the University’s Wind Energy Center. His research interests have focused on wind resource assessment and wind turbine external design conditions, hybrid power system design, energy storage and offshore wind energy. He is an author of the wind energy textbook, “Wind Energy Explained: Theory, Design and Application.” He worked with the International Energy Agency’s wind energy R&D activity, Annex VIII, which dealt with autonomous wind systems and in conjunction with that activity was a contributing author to the book, “Wind-Diesel Systems: “A Guide to the Technology and its Implementation.” Subsequently, he was the US representative to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) program to develop the first design standards for offshore wind turbines (IEC 61400-3), served on International Science Panel on Renewable Energies, was instrumental in bringing a large wind turbine blade test facility to Massachusetts and was a charter committee member for the North American Academy of Wind Energy. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Dept. of Environmental Protection’s expert panel on wind turbine health impacts. He is presently a member of the IEC group (TC 88 61400-MT3), which is developing a second edition of the offshore wind turbine design standard. Prof. Manwell graduated from Amherst College with a B.A. in biophysics and then from the University of Massachusetts with an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.

Marc Mueller-Stoffels, Alaska Center for Energy & Power

Marc Mueller-Stoffels is the Director for the Power Systems Integration Program at the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP). Marc’s research focuses on the integration of variable generation sources into isolated microgrids. Most recently, he has lead the testing of an inverter-battery system to
enable diesel-off mode in high contribution wind scenarios. Prior to joining ACEP, Marc has developed regional scale climate models with focus on Arctic sea ice, and has chaired a small software company
specializing in optimization algorithms. Marc holds graduate degrees in physics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Otago University, New Zealand.

Misty Conrad, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Misty Conrad works in the Integrated Applications Office of Deployment and Market Transformation at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. She manages project teams in energy planning and sustainability within the island and developing nation context. Her current projects include working with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior Office of Insular Affairs in providing technical assistance to communities in the Pacific Islands, and working for the Department of State providing technical expertise for island nations in support of their greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Land Use and Environmental Resources and a Master’s in Energy and Environmental Policy and Law. She has 15 years of experience working on clean energy policies, programs and projects. Before NREL, her work included such topics as the water/energy nexus, gender equity and environmental impact assessments.

Peter Lilienthal, HOMER Energy

Peter Lilienthal is the President/CEO of HOMER Energy. Since 1993, he has been the developer of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s HOMER® hybrid power optimization software, which has been used by over 110,000 energy practitioners in 193 countries.NREL has licensed HOMER Energy to be their sole world-wide commercialization licensee for distributing and enhancing the HOMER model. Dr. Lilienthal was the Senior Economist with the International Programs Office at NREL from 1990 – 2007. He has a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. He has been active in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1978. This has included designing and teaching courses at the university level, project development of independent power projects, and consulting to industry and regulators. His technical expertise is in utility modeling and the economic and financial analysis of renewable and micro-grid projects. He was the lead analyst and one of the creators of NREL’s International and Village Power Programs.

Darron Scott, Kodiak Electric Association

Darron Scott is the President/CEO of Kodiak Electric Association (KEA) which is the electric cooperative for Kodiak, Alaska. Under his 15 year tenure, KEA has moved from a diesel/hydro electric system to the forefront of renewable integration supplying the citizens of Kodiak with 99.7% renewable energy. This comes from a combination of hydroelectric and wind power utilizing battery energy storage and flywheel energy storage. Prior to his work at KEA, Darron worked as an Engineer and Manager for TXU, an IOU in Texas. Darron has a BSME in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

For more information, contact any of the IGRC’s Facilitators

Chris Rose
Executive Director at Renewable Energy Alaska Project
Anchorage, Alaska
chris@realaska.org
907-232-0908

Stephanie Nowers
Executive Director at KIS Consulting in
Palmer, Alaska
sjnowers@mtaonline.net
907-229-1982

Suzanne MacDonald
Community Energy Director at the Island Institute
Rockland, Maine
smacdonald@islandinstitute.org
207-594-9209

Brooks Winner
Community Energy Manager at the Island Institute
Rockland, Maine
bwinner@islandinstitute.org
207-594-9209