Engineering professor Mahmoud Kabalan, center, engages with a student, using equipment related to the new mircogrid research and testing facility in the Facilities and Design Center in St. Paul on January 30, 2020.

In the News: Dr. Mahmoud Kabalan on School of Engineering's Microgrid

KARE 11 featured the School of Engineering's microgrid in light of Hurricane Ian. The grid is a "self-contained energy network" that can provide buildings with power in the event of outages.

From the story: Dr. Kabalan says they're more reliable than central or state power grids, like the one in Texas that went down during a winter storm last year, leaving millions without electricity and hundreds of people died.

"A microgrid is much more than simply a standby system or an emergency system," Dr. Kabalan said. "A microgrid can be your home, can be a hospital, can be university campus or can be even a neighborhood."

The one on the St. Thomas campus will eventually power up to five buildings, including a new one going up across the street that will house mathematics, science and technology. The microgrid's run by several energy sources including solar and batteries.