A big round of applause to Fort Collins Utilities—during last week’s Colorado Cleantech Awards, they were named Cleantech Champion! This second annual event recognizes leaders in the cleantech industry—across government agencies, private businesses, university research and public utilities. Twenty organizations were presented with awards, including our own utility.
Fort Collins is at the forefront of grid modernization because of visionary leadership at the Fort Collins Utilities. Working closely with local clean energy businesses, Colorado State University and policy makers, Fort Collins Utilities is committed to integrating renewable energy assets onto the grid, offering rebates to their customers to install renewable energy tools on their property and participating in community-based energy reduction goals such as FortZED, the Fort Collins Zero Energy District.
In 1984, Fort Collins Utilities was recognized with a DOE Energy Innovation Award, in 1998 they were the first utility in Colorado, and one of the first in the nation, to offer wind power to its customers. In 2007 Fort Collins Utilities received one of only nine grants from the DOE to test renewable and distributed systems integration live on their grid. The demonstration took place this summer and results are being calculated. In 2009 Fort Collins adopted a comprehensive Energy Policy with aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals with a 2050 target.
As a founding member of the FortZED, Fort Collins Utilities has outpaced other communities and much larger utilities. They are supporters of renewable energy technologies such as wind, biofuels, hybrid engines and smart grid controls. Recently, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, or SWEEP, highlighted Fort Collins energy efficiency portfolio by noting, “While this utility is small in scale, its DSM programs are large in stature, outperforming most municipal and many investor owned utility DSM programs across the country.”