Smart Grid Advancement Center launched in Colorado


Darin Atteberry,
City Manager,
Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 10, 2011 – The Center for Smart Grid Advancement (CSGA) has been launched in Fort Collins to provide the infrastructure and education necessary to address the technical, regulatory, economic and operational issues that must be addressed to realize the full potential of smart grids.

The Center, which is led by smart grid integration company Spirae, is aimed to support the company’s ongoing effort to educate and inform industry stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities facing the transformation of the electric power system.

The Center leverages the InteGrid Test and Development Lab, one of the largest physical simulation labs in North America, and the Smart Grid Network Operating Center (NOC), a new facility at Spirae to provide hands-on training and power system operations experience to participants. A range of professional training courses will be developed by Colorado State University, Spirae, external subject matter experts, and industry sponsors. The first smart grid course through this initiative will be offered in summer 2011.

The Center announcement was among a number of activities that that took place at a full day event last week, held to mark the kick off of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration (RDSI) demonstration occurring in Fort Collins.

The RDSI project, which serves as the jumpstart zone for the larger FortZED (Fort Collins Zero Energy District) initiative, has a specific goal of significantly reducing peak load on feeders served by a major substation operated by Fort Collins Utilities. The project involves the coordinated use of 5 MW of distributed assets, including photovoltaic, conventional backup generation, biogas generation and demand side management from multiple partner sites within the demonstration area.

In addition to Spirae, other participants in the event were the City of Fort Collins, the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, and the Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, with the latter announcing the Colorado Clean Energy Supply Chain Initiative, which will map out the supply chain for the wind and photovoltaic industries in the state.

“It is exciting to see a public utility, the private sector and university setting ambitious goals for FortZED and the future of energy management,” commented Darin Atteberry, Fort Collins City manager. “The RDSI project, and FortZED as a larger initiative, embodies the City’s values of innovation, sustainability and partnering. The synergy and coordination of the agencies and businesses sets Fort Collins apart from other smart grid endeavors occurring in the United States.”

The City of Fort Collins is a full service municipality serving 140,600 people living in a 53.3-mile radius.