During the summer, few students want to sit in a classroom for hours; thankfully for students in the Power and Energy Experiences course, education is all about observing real facilities in action—first-hand.
This year’s edition of the annually offered Power and Energy Experiences course took place in the first session of the summer term. The course was supported by the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and partner utilities: LG&E/KU, TVA, EKPC and Duke. It included a one-week field trip, which provided the students with an immersive experience through daily visits of regional facilities for generating, distributing and managing electricity. This year’s tour included a coal fired power plant, hydro generating and pumped storage facilities, a land fill gas generation facility, a non-operational nuclear power plant, a biogas generating facility, the Ft. Knox power system with integrated PV generation, the operations center of a regional electric transmission system operator, an electric distribution substation and a smart grid demonstration facility.
The course, which is an elective for the PEIK undergraduate certificate, and a requirement for the PEIK graduate certificate, also included an online module covering theoretical background. Course instructors Jeff Seay of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering and Dan M. Ionel of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, led a full class of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse engineering disciplines.