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Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities PA 510

Follow the Public Forum Registration Information link below to register for the the Public Forum on Making the Smart Grid Work in the Real World, the evening of June 10. Space is limited to 60 people, so please register early

PA510 Making the Smart Grid Work in the Real World: Edition 5.0

This two-term course series, called Designing the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities, examines a set of emerging concepts, technologies, applications and business models involved in transforming the nation’s century-old, centralized power grid into a climate, consumer-empowerment, and renewable energy friendly “Smart Grid.” Students have the option of taking this course for 4 graduate credits or through our non-credit professional development track.

While priority registration is given to students who continue from Winter Term, we know that not all students are able to continue during Spring Term. We anticipate there will be at least 10-12 openings for new graduate and professional development students. We will make a special effort to help bring them up to speed with their classmates.
During our Winter Term course, called The Smart Grid and Sustainable Communities: Making the Connections – 14 graduate students and 17 professional development students from throughout the Northwest and beyond learned the foundational concepts from a first-rate, six-person multidisciplinary faculty team and well known guest presenters.

The class included lectures, panel discussions, team projects, and optional field trips. They also fine-tuned their ability how to work effectively in multidisciplinary small group teams in preparation for the Spring Term projects. The Spring Term course, Marking the Smart Grid Work in the Real World, will explore new issues and delve into issues we have already touched on more deeply with the help of new presentations from our expert faculty and additional guest presenters. In addition, new small group teams will apply this knowledge by working on actual projects that determine if and how the Smart Grid and related technologies and approaches can support sustainable development and a cleaner energy future.

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

June 10th Public Forum Information

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.
  • 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 will be captured and stored for later viewing. A link will be provided for access to the archived media 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): Spring CRN65367

Professional Development Track: (Non-Credit Link)

Spring Term Registration for Professional Development Students will be accepted through April 20th. 

Spring 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


Spring Term:

Wednesdays, April 8 - June 10, 2015
6:40 - 9:40 PM
PSU Urban Center Room 204 (506 SW Mill Street)


Dan Trifone
Program Coordinator


Jeff Hammarlund
Adjunct Associate Professor and Senior Fellow



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