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Sustainable Energy Technology

windturbinesThe Sustainable Energy Technology task group identified that Fort Collins’ UniverCity District is uniquely positioned to demonstrate visionary leadership and to be at the forefront of social change through a bold commitment to “Net Zero Energy.” FortZED looks to transform this area into the largest Net Zero Energy District in the world.

Our city and state have identified clean energy as top economic development and quality of life initiatives. The significant expertise that resides at CSU, including the Energy Conversion Lab and the CSU Clean Energy Supercluster, coupled with local practice knowledge and enthusiasm among residents and businesses, creates the right critical mass to be at the forefront of our nation’s new energy economy. We will be known as leaders – with many of the nation’s experts on renewable energy theory and practice living and working in the UniverCity District. We’re calling this FortZED for Zero Energy District.

WHAT IS “NET ZERO ENERGY”?

Transforming the UniverCity District into a net zero energy user would mean that the district creates as much thermal and electrical energy “locally” as it uses within its built environment. We have defined “locally” to be within a 50-mile radius of the District. We have also further clarified our definition to stipulate that energy generated is nonpolluting, and that energy generation will be balanced with reduced energy consumption through efficiency and conservation.

WHY CREATE A NET ZERO ENERGY DISTRICT?

There is no doubt that there is significant momentum building to develop new sources of clean energy, both to secure our nation’s energy future through reduced use of imported fossil fuels such as oil, and to reduce the amount of CO2 released into our atmosphere to minimize global climate change. While these are extremely important and compelling reasons in and of themselves to look to creative ideas such as creating and demonstrating a local Net Zero Energy District, there are several additional reasons that apply specifically to Fort Collins:

  • Clean energy will contribute to our economic development
  • Fort Collins is already positioned to lead
  • The environment is vital to our quality of life

The five strategies for implementation:

  1. Create a 5 Megawatt “jump start” demonstration
  2. Encourage and incent high performance in the built environment
  3. Remove barriers to develop needed infrastructure and create unique financial incentives in this district
  4. Local power generation and demand management
  5. Education and promotion

The FortZED initiative came out of the Sustainable Energy Technology task group.