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Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan stands in front of microgrid equipment.

Improve the Grid’s Reliability

Center for Microgrid Research

The Center for Microgrid Research is dedicated to improving the reliability and resiliency of our electric grid. Through our educational programs, research, and partnerships, we are building the human and operational capacity needed for the 21st century grid.

Our Vision:
To be one of the premiere applied engineering research centers in the area of distributed energy resources and microgrids enabling a secure, resilient, and carbon-free electric grid for the 21st century.

The University of St. Thomas Microgrid and Center for Microgrid Research are centrally located in the Twin Cities metro area (about 10 minutes from both downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and the MSP International Airport).

Read more about the Center and the St. Thomas Microgrid in recent publications and news media:

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Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan

Director of the Center for Microgrid Research
Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan
Phone Number
Student researcher speaks about the St. Thomas Microgrid

Shaping the Evolution of Energy

Student-Focused Microgrid Research Facilities

St. Thomas has one of the only student-focused microgrid research facilities in the nation. Students help develop technology and are trained to shape the evolution of energy in the face of climate change. The Center attracts an array of students, researchers and industry partners interested in distributed energy resources.


MN Department of Commerce logo

Minnesota Department of Commerce & Minnesota State Legislature

$3.6 Million

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US Army Engineer Research & Development Center logo

U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

$11 Million

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National Science Foundation logo

National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award


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Xcel Energy logo

Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund

$2.1 Million

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A section of the microgrid

What is a microgrid?

The Microgrid

A microgrid is a local version of the continental-size electric grid. A microgrid is made up of a group of sources and loads. It can include renewable energy sources such as solar Photovoltaic (PV) or conventional energy sources such as natural gas generators.

About Microgrid Assets

A Facility for the Entire Community

Get involved with the Center to learn, apply your knowledge, and make an impact in this community.
microgrid staff member at work

For Industry Partners

We are here to answer your questions about:

  • Research and development partnerships
  • Training and workforce education workshops
  • Student-focused projects
  • Pre-compliance testing of near commercial products
  • Futureproofing current commercial products
  • Testing, facility rental, and data acquisition
  • Federal proposal partnerships and cost-share support
microgrid staff members stand in front of microgrid equipment

For Academic and Not-for-Profit Organizations

If you have questions about:

  • Research Projects
  • Proposal partnerships
  • Testing, facility rental, and experimental data acquisition

Center for Microgrid Research Faculty

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan is the Director of the Center for Microgrid Research. Mahmoud is passionate about using renewable energy sources as a means for a sustainable and just future. His research interest is microgrids which are exciting concepts combining renewable energy sources, power electronics, and electric power systems.

Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan
Dr. Don Weinkauf

Dr. Don Weinkauf

Dr. Don Weinkauf has served as the Dean of Engineering at the University of St Thomas in St. Paul, MN since 2008. He has been honored nationally for his teaching and research as a Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Weinkauf worked for Shell Oil Company as a Research Engineer. He is the inventor on 3 U.S. Patents and has been the Principal Investigator on over 5 million dollars in federal, state and corporate research grants.

Dr. Don Weinkauf
Dr. Greg Mowry

Dr. Greg Mowry

Dr. Greg Mowry used his decades of experience in the power sector and with microgrids to custom design the St. Thomas Microgrid facility. He has focused his efforts on power, power electronics, and distributed hybrid alternative energy systems that are useful in industry and in developing countries. His work has resulted in multiple patents for startup companies in the hybrid power systems.

Dr. Greg Mowry

Center for Microgrid Research Staff

Dr. Renuka Loka headshot

Dr. Renuka Loka

Dr. Renuka Loka is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Microgrid Research. Prior to joining St. Thomas, she worked on optimization techniques for distributed frequency control, blockchain applications for power and energy systems, data-driven uncertainty modeling using machine learning, frequency regulation in renewable and storage-integrated power systems, and deep reinforcement learning. As a dedicated researcher passionate about renewable energy integration, she is committed to driving innovation and solving real-world problems. Dr. Loka has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus.

Dr. Renuka Loka
Ophelia Loree headshot

Ophelia Loree

Ophelia Loree is the Research Engineer at the University of St. Thomas Center for Microgrid Research. Before joining the Center, Ophelia worked in a Power Systems role at OSI/Aspentech where she collaborated with utilities on enhancing their distribution and outage management systems. Ophelia is an EIT, a Six Sigma Green Belt, and has a passion for renewable energy and decarbonizing the grid.

Ophelia Loree
Shree Pandey headshot

Shree Pandey

Shree Pandey is the Microgrid Engineer at the University of St. Thomas Center for Microgrid Research. Before joining the Center, Shree worked as an Electrical Engineer, Master Electrician and Head of Field Operations in a Twin Cities based rooftop solar developer and installer. Shree is an EIT and has a Master Electrician license from the State of Minnesota.

Shree Pandey
Ian Masui headshot

Ian Masui

Ian Masui is a Microgrid Controls Research Engineer at the University of St. Thomas Center for Microgrid Research. During his studies at St. Thomas, he aided in setting up and configuring the Microgrid. This included creating and commissioning the communication and control infrastructure to enable the microgrid to function safely and efficiently.
Ian Masui