The Smart Grid infrastructure is capable of integrating and coordinating a system of mixed distributed resources – including renewable generation, rotary- and inverter-based generation, PHEV and V2G vehicles, and demand response methods.

The Downtown area of Fort Collins is ready to become its own net zero energy district. Other communities around the globe can replicate the technology and implementation.


The City of Fort Collins is converting to an advanced metering infrastructure.

Deployment of the digital meters and infrastructure will be complete by 2013.

Through the Advanced Meter Fort Collins project, Fort Collins Utilities is upgrading mechanical electric and water meters in homes, schools and businesses throughout the community with electronic devices that will enable two-way digital communication between the meter and the utility.

Benefits include:

• using information to maintain high system reliability

• make utility operations even more cost-effective

• offer a smart grid platform for new advanced clean technologies

In order to realize the vision of a Zero Energy District, a Smart Grid infrastructure is essential. It has the potential to transform today’s one-way electricity delivery network into a bi-directional platform for enabling a variety of energy services at lower cost and higher reliability.

The RDSI jump start project is underway, thanks to a cooperative partnership and grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and matching funds in investments and resources from federal, state, academic, business and community sources.

Nuts and Bolts of a Zero Energy District

  • Improve energy efficiency in generation, conservation, and flexibility
  • Develop and implement small-scale on-site renewables such as cost-effective solar PV panels and micro-wind turbines
  • Create more utility-scale green power such as wind and solar farms
  • Customers can customize energy offerings through product differentiation

Some of the Smart Grid technologies the net zero energy district will utilize:

  • Advanced mixed-fuel technology
  • Advanced generator controls
  • Low-cost grid parallel switchgear
  • Micro-wind turbine
  • Solar photovoltaic panels
  • Solar thermal systems
  • Solar electric systems
  • LED lights
  • CFL lights
  • Fuel cells
  • Hybrid engines, plug-ins
  • Vehicle to Grid vehicles
  • Continuous Power System (CPS)

Need more information?

Here's a brief glossary of FortZED terminology.