UCI ‘Islands’ Its Microgrid from Southern California Edison Grid
Successful Test Demonstrates Reliability and Resiliency of Campus Power System


Irvine, Calif., Feb. 23, 2018 – The Advanced Power & Energy Program at the University of California, Irvine, in partnership with campus Facilities Management, successfully islanded the campus 20 megawatt-class microgrid from the Southern California Edison (SCE) grid. During the 1 hour and 15 minute test, the microgrid performed flawlessly in response to varying campus electrical load demands.

"This was truly a major accomplishment for our microgrid research and for the betterment of microgrid reliability and resiliency" said Professor Scott Samuelsen, director of the UCI Advanced Power & Energy Program (APEP). "The unique collaboration between campus operations and APEP was key to achieving and demonstrating this important capability, and the cooperation of, and collaboration with, Southern California Edison was essential."

A successful islanding event is a critical component and deliverable for APEP in the research and development of a Generic Microgrid Controller (GMC), which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity microgrid program. In collaboration with SCE and project partners ETAP, MelRok, and UCI Facilities Management, the controller was developed and then tested on an OPAL-RT platform where a detailed model of the UCI microgrid was simulated.

In January, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) announced a microgrid controller standard based on the GMC specifications.

"As a leader in developing standards in a broad range of technologies, IEEE approval of these specifications will provide easier adaptation by various developers of microgrids of different sizes, and with different resources throughout the country,” said Samuelsen. "The new standard will also provide needed flexibility that will reduce the engineering and up-front costs required to design and develop microgrid controllers, and will support the integration of microgrids into future smart grids."

APEP continues to work with its microgrid partners and other stakeholders to determine additional policies and standards needed to enable deeper microgrid participation in the electricity wholesale/distribution markets, and to solidify the role of microgrids in increasing community resiliency and response to emergency situations.

About the Advanced Power & Energy Program at UCI: APEP addresses the broad utilization of energy resources and the emerging connection of electric power generation, infrastructure, transportation, water resources and the environment. It seeks to develop, promote and deploy increasingly efficient and environmentally sustainable power production and energy conversion worldwide, with a focus on the creation and sharing of new knowledge through fundamental and applied research, education and outreach.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

Media access: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists may be found at

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