Fort Collins is highlighting its success as a community that is embracing smart grid technology following a U.S. News & World Report feature that noted the northern Colorado city as being one of the Top 10 in the nation, along side several others, most of which are located in western states.
The city is touting a program it calls FortZED, also known as the Renewable and Distributed Systems Integration (RDSI) project, an $11 million initiative funded by federal, state, and local governments. So far, a demonstration portion of the program is underway, running from the downtown district to the Colorado State University (CSU) campus.
As rollout continues in 2012 and 2013, the municipally owned utility claims rate payers will be able to get real-time statics on their energy use, which could lead to more efficient management, furthering the ultimate goal of making some areas net zero energy zones.
Within the next four months, the city says it will beging to offer public charging stations, in a partnership with local businesses to increase electric vehicle implementation. While there are many positives for installing smart meters throughout communities, there have been some serious concerns, particular with personal data security and higher bills for customers.