As we wring our hands over inane cut and paste economic development reports, another college town has just gone and done something. Fort Collins, CO has embarked on an absolutely innovative mission to transform it’s downtown and the campus of Colorado State University into a Zero Energy District.
They will create the net ZED through conservation, efficiency, renewable sources and smart technologies. This bold and visionary project, first conceived in 2007, will help prove out the concepts, pathways and technologies to achieve net zero energy use in an existing community.
“FortZED will be realized through a systems approach with a broad portfolio of smart grid technologies, renewable energy sources and supporting public policies. Energy generation will come from renewable sources within a 50-mile radius of FortZED; renewable and conventional distributed sources within the district; and demand reduction and response within the district.
Finally, FortZED will provide a strong competitive advantage to expand existing capabilities and attract clean energy technology companies to Colorado that can replicate the technical solutions embodied in FortZED in other urban environments, on campuses, and in existing and new communities nationwide and around the world.”
The benefits of this effort include:
- It is an innovative energy project that supports a progressive municipal utility
- It fosters local innovation and entrepreneurship
- It provides economic support for local private sector clean energy technology companies
- It legitimizes our region as a leader in clean energy technology innovation
- It has philanthropic-minded, grassroots support in the community
- It complements the City’s Climate Action Plan, Energy Policy, and other related Utilities programs and projects
- It is drawing national and international attention and funding for its vision and progress to date.
THIS is economic development! This is how you merge brainpower and innovation to result in positive economic change. It’s just not that hard people. Grasp a vision, make it work.
No more studies, committees, task forces. We can decide what the LEX should be and just do it.
Read more here.