Thanks to a $6.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and $5 million in local community support, the FortZED “RDSI” project – which stands for Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration – jump started FortZED by testing out a number of technologies that reduce peak energy use and integrate renewable energy, such as solar panels, into our electric energy system.

New Belgium

New Belgium

Phase I:

Phase I studied how the electric peak could be managed with a combination of renewable and distributed system resources. New technologies enabled the integrated operation and control of distributed energy sources, like solar panels or natural gas turbines, to reduce peak load strain on the power distribution system. The technology could even turn off energy consuming devices as available to reduce peak load.

Phase I Breakdown:

  • Provided valuable research for the Department of Energy’s nationwide RDSI program, which included nine demonstration projects
  • Enabled a 20-30 percent peak electric demand load reduction on the two feeders
  • Supported the City’s energy policy and greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • Supported the existing and future clean energy economy in the region with participating local companies showcasing their technologies and potentially attracting new companies to the region

For more information about Phase I, contact Dennis Sumner at dsumner@fcgov.com or 970-221-6718.

Phase II:

CSU Energy Institute

CSU Energy Institute

This phase was a concentrated effort to demonstrate that a microgrid could work across the Fort Collins distribution system with remote sites. It paved the way for a greater understanding of how to successfully integrate solar energy sources into a microgrid, and how to manage demand response on a microgrid.

Phase II Breakdown:

  • Demonstrated operation of a microgrid comprised of the CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL) and the Northside Aztlan Center
  • Demonstrated the use of advance cyber security safeguards to protect the micro-grid control communications network

For more information about Phase II, contact Tom Vosburg at tvosburg@fcgov.com or 970-221-6224.


To learn more about the other Department of Energy’s RDSI projects and their multi-year program plan for Smart Grid Research and Development, check out this summary: DOE_SG_MYPP_2012 Update.


Learn more about RDSI:

Hybrid DC Microgrid Technology

Fort Collins Utility Admin Bldg rendering
Use of hybrid DC Photovoltaic system on new Utilities Administration Building. Imagine a building that uses 10-20% less energy, gets 10-20% more PV output, is resilient and uses back up power while providing a productive, healthy and safe environment for occupants! Stay tuned for more details.