Search Google Appliance

Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities PA 510

Designing the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities: Version 5.0

This two-term course series is offered once every two years. It examines a set of emerging concepts, technologies, applications and business models, and the complex trade-off decisions related to transforming the nation’s century-old, centralized power grid into a climate and renewable energy-friendly “Smart Grid.”

The course series stresses a cross-disciplinary approach, deepening individual areas of expertise in the context of teamwork. The first term establishes a basic Smart Grid literacy, while the second term applies this knowledge base to specific case studies. Both terms include lectures, active learning strategies, individual and group projects, class presentations from guest speakers and seminar participants, and field trips. The series closes with a small public forum during which student teams will present their recommendations to a select group of community leaders.

To learn more about the course, visit the following links:

Target Audience

  • Graduate students in engineering, information technology, public administration/policy, urban planning, business, economics, law, and related fields
  • Current and emerging leaders from the utility, information technology, public administration, architecture, urban and transportation planning, business, legal, and related communities who are interested in getting quickly up to speed on the smart grid as a part of their professional development.

Course Features and Format

  • Use a two-term format that allows us to spend winter term getting up to speed on how the smart grid works, and spring term applying what we have learned on actual local projects through case studies that offer practical “real world” information about the opportunities and challenges involved in applying the smart grid to sustainable development.
  • Conclude the course sequence with a small public forum during which student teams will present their recommendations to a select group of community leaders.

Distance Learning Options for the Smart Grid Courses

This course will be taught at PSU’s Distance Learning Center. PSU is happy to work with participating universities and utilities to provide graduate course level credit for students of participating universities (4 credits per quarter) and a certificate of completion for employees of participating utilities.

Three Distance Learning options are available for interested graduate students and mid-career professionals: 

  • Video Conference. Participants who can access participating Distance Learning Centers can see the class presentations and view and interact with the faculty, guest speakers, and other students in real time on large screens. 
  • Live Streaming. Participants can steam the class live on their computers. They can ask questions and participate in discussions with the help of Gmail Chat or similar options. 
  • Media Archive. Each class and presentation will be captured and stored for later viewing on your computer. A link will be provided for access to the archived media, which should be available the next day.

Continuing Legal Education Credit

Since this course is offered for graduate credit by an accredited university, Oregon attorneys can apply for CLE credit with the Oregon State Bar. Participating attorneys have their choice of taking this course series through the graduate credit track or the professional development track. They should apply fore CLE credit using Form 2 under MCLE Rule 5.4 b and include a copy of the final version of the course syllabus. For more information,contact Denise Cline, MCLE Administrator with the Oregon State Bar.

Registration Information

Graduate Credit Track (4 Credit Hours): CRN45660

Professional Development Track: (Non-Credit Link)

Winter Term Registration for Professional Development Students will be accepted through January 23. 

Winter 2015 Tuition and Fees

  • Graduate Credit Track (4 graduate):
    $1,380 (resident)
    $2,156 (non-resident)
    Additional university fees may apply
  • Professional Development Track (Non-credit)

Course Withdrawal Policy


Winter Term:

Wednesdays, January 14 - March 18, 2015*
6:40 - 9:40 PM
PSU Urban Center Room 204 (506 SW Mill Street)

Spring Term:

Wednesdays, April 1 - June 10, 2015
6:40 - 9:40 PM
PSU Urban Center Room 204 (506 SW Mill Street)

*Note this course begins the second week of the Winter Term January 14th!


  • Dan Trifone, Program Coordinator: 503-725-5114 or (main contact)
  • Jeff Hammarlund, Lead Faculty: 503-249-0240 or (for course content


We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their continued support!