Microgrid Executive MBA Training - Self Study


Length: 6 modules

Author: Mahesh Bhave

Subjects: Microgrid: Economics, Solar: Energy Finance

Student Rating

Rating: 7.0/10 (view ratings)
64 students have taken this course


This is a comprehensive, data-driven business course on microgrid project development for professionals developed by Dr. Mahesh Bhave. Students will learn to evaluate project economics of microgrid projects in a variety of markets using case studies, financial models, and templates. The course is self-paced over six weeks with unlimited opportunities to network with classmates and Dr. Bhave. Students will have access to all course videos, tools, and templates for a full year after the official end of the course.

Microgrids combine a variety of renewable energy technologies into one integrated solution that matches varying loads while taking into account how different locations offer different benefits. This course will cover all of these technologies, including:

Battery Storage

How to do this optimally, at lowest cost? For small systems of 1 MW or even less? This is the microgrid challenge we will cover in the course.

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Includes Excel Templates For Project Modeling

Pro forma modeling for microgrids is a highly specialized skill. This course will provide the tools necessary to create a realistic and reliable model.

Self Paced Online Course

This is a self-study, self-paced online course. You can begin instantly upon enrollment and complete the course materials on your own pace.

Access Information And Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate Of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our one-click LinkedIn integration.

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Mahesh bhave 2015 studio iim k.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

Mahesh Bhave

Visiting Professor, Indian Institute of Management

Mahesh Bhave is a Visiting Professor of Strategy at Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, India. He has worked in product management, strategy, and business development positions at Hughes, Sprint, and Citizens in the United States. He is the founder of a rich media communications start-up in San Diego, CA. He is an engineer from IIT, New Delhi and Ph.D. from...[more]

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This is a self-study on demand course. This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (1 minute) (Video) preview
Module 1 - Context & Overview

The course begins with a discussion on where the electricity industry is headed and we'll make the case for microgrids.

  • Overview and Outline (14:46) (Video)
  • Microgrid MBA - Topics to cover (Download .pdf)
  • Mahesh Bhave recent articles - March 2015 (Download .doc)
  • Public Utilities Fortnightly - "Economy of Small: How Microgrids Went From Unlikely To Inevitable" (Download .pdf)
  • Dharnai, Bihar: India microgrid project (Download .pdf)
  • Microgrid - Regulatory Challenges (Download .pdf)
  • "Historical View" - Microgrids ~ ten years ago (Download .pdf)
  • Microgrids - California Public Utilities Commission report (Download .pdf)
  • Productize a historical service - 1 (Resource)
  • Productize a historical service - 2 (Resource)
  • A residential building as microgrid - Bangalore, India (Resource)
  • SolarCity microgrid (Resource)
  • On rough induction cooking calculations - only if you are interested (Download .pdf)
Module 2 - Microgrids: The Design Challenge and Economic Feasibility

This week we'll define microgrids and explore entrepreneurial opportunities in Electricity 2.0. You'll be asked to calculate market size for microgrids.

  • WEBSITE: Walt Patterson on Energy (Resource)
  • WEBSITE: University of California, San Diego, microgrid (Resource)
  • WEBSITE: University of California, Irvine, microgrid (Resource)
  • FILE: San Diego Gas and Electric Microgrids (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: New York City microgrid (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Santa Rita jail microgrid (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Sendai microgrid (Download .pdf)
  • RESOURCE: Bangladesh Electrification - presentation by Dr. Hasna Khan (Resource)
  • FILE: Webinar - Design challenge in a nutshell, slide 3, 4 (Download .pdf)
  • Microgrid design issues - from the webinar in brief (Video)
  • Microgrid Summit, 2014 Univ of California, Irvine. Solution needed, but not there! (Video)
  • Microgrid Design in 7 Steps (Video)
  • CEO questions after the business case for microgrids (Video)
  • DESIGN ASSIGNMENT: Microgrid for Homeowners' Association - 120 homes in California (Download .pdf)
  • DESIGN ASSIGNMENT 2b: MICROGRID FOR IIM KOZHIKODE - Electricity use by hour (Download .xlsx)
  • FILE Regulatory Issues and Public Policy for Off-grid Electricity - Emerging Economies (Download .pdf)
  • FILE Nancy Wimmer - session at IIM K (Download .pdf)
  • Discussion 1: Nancy Wimmer and Mahesh Bhave Mar 2015 (Video)
  • Discussion 2: Nancy Wimmer and Mahesh Bhave, Mar 2015 (Video)
  • PDF: Week 2 - Assignment #1 (Download .pdf)
  • The IIM K and TU Delft Modeling Team (Download .jpg)
  • UN Foundation - Microgrids in Africa - solicits expression of interest (Download .docx)
  • Techno-financial modeling of microgrids - Implications (Video)
  • Microgrid Model - Excel of IIM K campus (daytime peak load) (Download .xlsx)
Module 3 - MBA components: "Location-Markets," Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Industry Structure, and "What business are we in?"

In this session we'll discuss traditional microgrid applications on military bases, campuses, jails and hospitals. We'll take a global view of microgrids and discuss the challenges in rural parts of the world. We'll close by exploring how microgrids parallel dramatic changes in telecom.

  • FILE: A comprehensive survey of the industry - Newsletter (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Utility, Commodity, Brand (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: New York State's REV - Pioneering Public Policy: Overview (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Campus Microgrid - Early design complete on Nov 16; still work in progress (Download .pdf)
  • FILE Solar + Hydrogen = Electricity. Brochure of a new technology (Download .pdf)
  • REPORT: "The Economics of Grid Defection" by The Rocky Mountain Institute (Resource)
  • Missing: A Business Perspective (Video)
  • AUDIO: On design issues for Microgrids - 1 (Video)
  • AUDIO: On design issues for Microgrids - 2 (Video)
  • AUDIO: Why a cluster of microgrids, or a federation of microgrids (Video)
  • Fuel-centric, single technology view of electricity or ... microgrids (Video)
  • Economics of Small, Segments, and Numbers (Video)
  • Utility, Commodity, Brand (Video)
  • UN's SE4ALL program and microgrids (Video)
  • Smartphones transformed telecom, what will transform electricity? (Video)
  • Why MBA? Is electricity really an IT business? (Video)
  • Define and Auction Solar Blocks (Download .pdf)
  • Electricity business opening up - any body's game! (Video)
  • Evolution of the Grid (Video)
  • Business Strategies for Next Generation Electricity (Video)
  • A Centrifugal Revolution (Download .pdf)
Module 4 - Financial Modeling, and MBA components, continued

This week we'll use a pro forma cash flow template to graph revenue, costs, and break-even analysis using investment, service penetration, revenue, costs, and NPV. Our goal is to optimize project returns while meeting performance objectives and balance multiple generation sources.

  • How to Spawn Microgrids (Video)
  • FILE: How to Spawn Microgrids (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: "Think Globally, Distribute Power Locally: The Promise of Nanogrids" (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: "Local Power Distribution (“Nanogrids”)" by Bruce Nordman (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Sustainable Energy and Desalination on Vessel (SEADOV) (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: SolarCity Microgrid Brochure (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: "From the Bottom Up How Small Power Producers and Mini-Grids Can Deliver Electrification and Renewable Energy in Africa" (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: End to Power Cuts, Frontline, Mar 18, 2015 (Download .pdf)
  • Description of Excel Template for Economic Assessment of Microgrids (Video)
  • Excel Model (Download .xls)
  • Microgrid Deployment in Madison, Wisconsin (Ben Kaldunski) (Resource)
  • PDF: Microgrid MBA Presentation (Ben Kaldunski) (Download .pdf)
  • ASSIGNMENT: Using the MoDERN Economic Analysis Tool (Ben Kaldunski) (Download .pdf)
  • EXCEL MODEL: MoDERN A (.xlsm) (Download .xlsm)
  • EXCEL MODEL: MoDERN B (.xlsm) (Download .xlsm)
  • EXCEL MODEL: MoDERN C (.xlsm) (Download .xlsm)
  • Financial Model shared by Santiago Sanchez (Download .xls)
  • Financial Model shared by Santiago Sanchez - 2 (Download .doc)
  • Financial Model shared by Santiago Sanchez - 3 (Download .doc)
Module 5 - MBA components, continued: Segmentation, Positioning, Dis-aggregation

In this last week before the Capstone Project, we'll discuss extensions of the Ansoff matrix as they relate to the electricity industry. My hypothesis: The electricity industry will fragment into distinct product-market-location segments. I'll attend the 2015 Global Microgrid Summit, Irvine, CA and share what I find. Last year, the conference almost exclusively focused on technology, pilots, trials, ... and generally on the US. There was little to no discussion about economics or project feasibility. Q. why are there so few microgrids below 1 MW?

  • Article: "Smart microgrid energy and reserve scheduling with demand response using stochastic optimization" (2014) (Download .pdf)
  • Article: "The Regulatory Challenge of Distributed Generation" (2013) (Download .pdf)
  • Working Draft: Electrification Financing Initiative (ElectriFI) (Download .pdf)
  • PDF: Week 5 - Assignment #1 (Download .pdf)
  • Public Interest and Microgrids (Download .pdf)
  • Energy Efficiency? Quite Secondary. Generation First! (Download .pdf)
  • Incumbents' Strategies - Consolidate or Grow with the Growing Market (Download .pdf)
Module 6 - Microgrid Investment Proposal

Could you submit a 15-slide microgrid investment proposal, including pro forma financials? Built upon the Week 5 assignment? Capstone assignments can be completed individually or in groups. Granted this will take time. You may submit it even a month after the close of class, and we can post it to the class site.

  • FILE: Excel template for decision making - Capstone Project (Download .xlsx)
  • FILE: HOA financial spreadsheet - preliminary (IIM K version) (Download .xlsx)
  • FILE: A story of microgrid economics - December 2014 (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Meghalaya government to deploy microgrids (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Microgrid design in the Philippines (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: John Farrell: Utility 2.0 and Energy Democracy, Dec 2014 (Download .pdf)
  • FILE: Choice among electricity providers - competition, and separation of "carriage" and "content" - just as in telecom (Download .pdf)
  • Regulatory challenges of distributed generation (Download .pdf)
  • Intriguing Microgrids in Mexico (Download .pdf)
After The Course - Feedback and Additional Resources

No matter how great this course is, we know it's just one part of a bigger journey. In this module we'll start thinking about what comes next. You'll provide feedback on the course, request a certificate of completion, and learn about additional resources. Don't forget that you'll have access to the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year). Feel free to come back as much as you like to continue learning, and please stay in touch. Let us know what you do next and how we can help.

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a Founding Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)

Free Courses on Microgrid, Energy Finance, Economics

What Business Are Electric Utilities In?

In this free lecture, Mahesh Bhave argues that the intersection of telecom and electricity industries offers attractive growth options. Realizing the growth possibilities requires the breaking down of traditional industry and jurisdictional boundaries.

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