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Fort Collins Demonstration Project (RDSI) - Distributed Resources for Peak Load Reduction
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Lead Organization:
City of Fort Collins
HQ Location:
Fort Collins, Colorado
Project Contact Information:
 Mario Sciulli

Matt Wakefield (mwakefield@epri.com)
Dennis Sumner (dsumner@fcgov.com)
Mario Sciulli (Mario.sciulli@netl.doe.gov)

Project Summary:

The project was designed to address the research, development, and demonstration of a coordinated and integrated system of 3.5 MW of mixed distributed resources in Fort Collins, Colorado to achieve a 20-30 percent peak load reduction on two distribution feeders. These two feeders serve the planned FortZED Jump Start Zone (Ft. Collins Zero Energy District, in which the district creates as much thermal and electrical energy locally as it uses). This project aimed to modernize and transform the electrical distribution system of the City of Fort Collins by reducing distribution feeder peak loads, increasing the penetration of renewables, and deliver improved efficiency and reliability to the grid and resource asset owners. Fort Collins had been well positioned to successfully complete this project due to 1) the unique combination of world-class research facilities at Colorado State University, 2) participation of global industry leaders and local entrepreneurs able to commercialize the technology, 3) the City of Fort Collins’ focus on and investments in clean energy as a key pillar of future growth, and 4) the presence of a city-owned utility and extensive community support.

Project leads are City of Fort Collins (Prime Contractor) and Fort Collins Utilities (Utility Company). Technology partners [2]:
- Spirae is responsible for smart grid platform – DER/power management system.
- Brendle Group is responsible for demand management and program development.
- Colorado State University is responsible for robust controls and PHEV R&D.
- Advanced Energy (AE) supplies photovoltaic inverter.
- Woodward Governor is responsible for power management and mixed fuel R&D.
- Caterpillar supplies distributed generation.
- Eaton supplies switchgear/power components and small generator switchgear R&D.
- InteGrid provides platform for controls R&D, DER integration and simulation.

The project sites and DER deployed at the sites are summarized below [2, 3]:

Site 1: New Belgium Brewing -- deploying new 200-kW PV arrays with AE inverters; a 292-kW methane-based Gauscor CHP; a 650-kW CAT 3508C methane-based CHP; a 135-kW new thermal storage; and a 160-kW load shedding potentials.

Site 2: InteGrid Laboratory -- deploying 2x80kW Onan natural gas genset; a 300-kW CAT natural gas genset; an 80-kW Ingersoll Rand microturbine; an 80-kW Bowman microturbine; a 100-kW wind turbine simulator; and a 10-kW fuel cells.

Site 3: City of Fort Collins Facilities -- deploying a 500-kW conventional generator with Woodward controls and Eaton switchgear; a 92-kW thermal storage; a 5-kW PV array; a 62-kW HVAC and DSM; and 2x10kW Ford Escapes (PHEVs).

Site 4: Larimer County -- deploying a 10-kW new PV array; and a 2x1HP motors for water fountain control.

Site 5: Colorado State University - deploying an 80-kW thermal storage; an 80-kW fan variable speed drives; a 21.6-kW water fountain pumps; a 3.6-kW hot water heater controls; a 6-kW daylight control, and a 950-kW conventional gensets with Woodward controls and Eaton switchgear.

According to [4], the outcome of the demonstration of secure microgrid in the City of Fort Collins were:
- 14% reduction across 2 feeders (~2.3 MW) & 25% reduction across 1 feeder (~2.0 MW)
- Maximum Generation: 1,950 kW (Dispatchable: gensets; Non-dispatchable: PV, steam plant generator)
- Maximum Load Shed: 550 kW


[1] EPRI, "Ft. Collins RDSI Demonstration Project: RD&D of Peak Load Reduction on Distribution Feeders Using DER”. URL: http://www.smartgrid.epri.com/doc/Ft%20%20Collins%20RDSI%20Final.pdf
[2] "City of Fort Collins, CO RDSI Program Presentation", October 2008. URL: http://events.energetics.com/rdsi2008/pdfs/presentations/wednesday-part1...
[3] Dr. Sunil Cherian, "DER Integration for Peak Load Management DOE RDSI - City of Fort Collins, Colorado", EPRI Pre-Conference Workshop, December, 2008. URL: https://smartgrid.gov/sites/default/files/doc/files/DER_integration_for_...
[4] City of Fort Collins, CO: RDSI Secure Microgrid Demonstration Project, National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid, July 2013.