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Electricity Grid Operation


Subject Area Electrical Engineering
Credits 5
Start Date Trimester One (September-December)
Duration 8 weeks
Mode of Delivery Hybrid - Online lectures and tutorials and 2 days on campus for demonstration labs.
Course Leader Prof. Andrew Keane


  • 40% Green Tech Skillnet Funding*
  • 20% UCD Alumni Discount
  • 20% Discount for 3+ Employees
  • 80% Learner Fee Subsidy**

See 'Funding' section below.
See 'Learner Fee Subsidy' Section below

Application Deadline

Next intake scheduled for Trimester One, (September - December) exact date is to be confirmed. Email (opens in a new window)microcredentials@ucd.ie for more information. 

The Electricity Grid Operation micro-credential addresses the key specifics of electrical power system operation, control, and energy economics. Through online lectures and tutorials, and in-person lab demonstrations using the facilities of UCD Energy Institute’s Integrated Energy Lab, students will gain theoretical and ‘hands-on’ experience and understanding of operating a power system.

Together with the technical aspects, this micro-credential will also explore the broader context of power systems and society. It encourages participants to appreciate the future challenges that power systems are poised to face, underscoring the intricate interplay between energy infrastructure and societal dynamics.

Upon completion, participants will emerge well-versed in the complexities of power systems, equipped with the practical skills and theoretical insights necessary for thriving in the ever-evolving landscape of electrical power.

Funding available from Green Tech Skillnet; see 'Funding' section below.  Funding is also available through the 'Micro-Credential Learner Fee Subsidy' Scheme.

Brian O'Connell image
"I am excited to apply the knowledge gained, not only to enhance demand side flexibility, but also to contribute to the wider market transition."
Brian O'Connell, Edge Solutions Engineer

  • Professionals in the energy sector who wish to understand more about grid operation
  • Graduates pursuing careers in the energy sector

On completion of this micro-credential, you will be able to:

  • Solve constrained economic dispatch problems graphically and numerically
  • Explain the complexities and constraints associated with power system commitment and dispatch including reserve provision, individual generator characteristics, frequency control
  • Explain the unique characteristics of electricity markets when compared to other commodity markets
  • Understand and describe the importance of frequency control in power system operation and reliability
  • Appreciate the challenges facing power systems in the future and their relation to society.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Load and generator characteristics, including renewables
  • Economic dispatch
  • Reserve provision and constraints
  • Unit commitment and optimisation
  • Electricity market design and operation
  • DC power flow
  • Frequency control
  • Specific case studies on the Irish power system will form a core element of the micro-credential.

This micro-credential will equip learners with highly relevant and ‘in-demand’ knowledge to the energy sector, an area with national and international career potential.

This micro-credential is delivered through the UCD online learning platform (Brightspace) and two on-campus learning/assessment days.

The online components will consist of lectures/seminars, live tutorials and recorded demonstrations.

The on-campus learning will take place in the UCD Energy Institute’s Integrated Energy Lab in UCD Centre for Science.

This is a 5 ECTS micro-credential and involves approximately 100-120 hours of learner effort.

Applications are welcome from those who hold a degree in a relevant subject area, and/or have significant, relevant experience in the energy sector.

Applicants must hold a degree in a relevant subject area (engineering, technology, mathematics or science), NFQ Level 8 degree with a GPA of 3.08

Applications will also be accepted from those with significant, relevant, practical experience with good numeracy skills or those with a graduate qualification relevant to the micro-credential.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.

All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Multiple Choice Quizzes (online)
  • Oral Examination at demonstration (in person)
  • Learning Journal / Blog
  • Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
  • Group/class feedback, post-assessment

Please note: Learners can avail of only one of the below funding opportunities per application. 

Green Tech Skillnet Funding

Green Tech Skillnet, an organisation dedicated to fostering skills and expertise in the field of green technology, is partnering with UCD micro-credentials to fund 40% of the course fee for eligible learners* on relevant, sustainability-focused, micro-credentials.

How to access the funding:

  1. Apply for one of the applicable micro-credentials through the UCD website.
  2. Clearly indicate on your application that you are applying with the intention of receiving a subsidised place on the course through Green Tech Skillnet’s partnership and that you believe you are eligible for this funding.
  3. If you are successful, you will receive an offer from UCD.
  4. Once you have accepted your offer, and provided you meet the eligibility criteria*, you will make payment of 60% of the micro-credential fee directly to Green Tech Skillnet, and they will cover the remainder.
  5. Once payment has been made, you can register and join your micro-credential.

*The eligibility criteria, as set out by the Green Tech Skillnet, are as follows:

  • Companies must be private enterprises based in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Skillnet Ireland funding is not available to public sector bodies or publicly funded organisations, such as community-based not-for-profit companies or charities.
  • Commercial semi-state companies are eligible, providing that income contributed to a Network is not sourced from the public purse.
  • Sole traders are eligible as Companies.

Eligibility for Trainees:
Key requirements regarding trainee eligibility:

  • Trainees must be based in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Trainees must be employed within private enterprise.
  • Green Tech Skillnet is required to collect data on the profile of trainees supported and record this data for Skillnet Ireland.

Visit the Green Tech Skillnet website page regarding the (opens in a new window)Electricity Grid Operations micro-credential.

UCD Alumni Discount

We are pleased to offer UCD graduates a 20% discount on tuition fees for the Electricity Grid Operations micro-credential. To avail of this discount you must use your UCD login details when submitting an online micro-credential application so that we can verify your UCD student details. If you cannot remember your UCD login details please contact the UCD Student Desk for assistance.

Organisations Sending 3 Plus Employees

If your organisation plans to send three or more employees to this micro-credential, please contact Maria Keany (maria.keany@ucd.ie), Business Development Manager with NexSys and Energy Institute to discuss availing of a 20% discount.

Please note: Learners can avail of only one form of funding per application. 

Micro-Credentials Learner Fee Subsidy-Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3

The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy has been introduced to enable more learners to address critical skills gaps and engage with lifelong learning through micro-credentials. The HCI Pillar 3 Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidy is funded by Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. 

HCI Micro-credential Learner Fee Subsidies are available on identified micro-credentials only and in fixed numbers from March 2024 until October 2025.  

Please see Eligibility Criteria for further information.