Fort Collins: Smart Grid Electric Vehicle Charge Management Solution

Fort Collins: Smart Grid Electric Vehicle Charge Management Solution

One of the Build America Center’s (BAC) latest video spotlights focuses on the successful grant application completed by the City of Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins recently received a grant of over $1 million to implement their cutting-edge electric vehicle (EV) charging management solutions throughout the city. To learn more about what enabled this grant success story and to see how this advice can align with your own project, watch the video below. 

This project involves electrifying the city’s municipal fleet and equipping electric vehicle charging stations in designated areas. The three main goals of this project are to determine the future need for these EV chargers, upgrade the required electrical infrastructure to support their installation, and to manage the chargers efficiently through integrated software. 

Not only does this forward-thinking project align with the city’s climate goals, but also showcases its commitment to sustainable urban development. This new electric vehicle infrastructure will cut down on pollution from municipal vehicles while also enabling community members to adopt electric vehicles in the future. Cultivating a clean and healthier environment for residents while also putting Fort Collins at the forefront of technological innovation and smart grid technology. 

According to Tracy Ochsner, the Operation Services Director for the city of Fort Collins, there were a few factors that contributed to their successful grant proposal. One of these factors was collaboration. By working with key departments/stakeholders such as the utilities and transit departments as well as the Office of Equity and Inclusion, they were able to lay out a comprehensive and cohesive approach which made the project more feasible to reviewers. Additionally, Tracy mentioned that obtaining letters of support from credible organizations was integral in conveying the desire for this project to become a reality and emphasizing its potential benefits to the community. These letters were obtained from the state energy office, Clean Cities Coalition, regional transportation office, Metropolitan Planning Organization, and other energy partners. This highlighted the widespread support of the project, bolstering its credibility and demonstrating a strong network of collaborators.

At the time of this video’s recording, Fort Collins has deployed over 50 EV charging stations as well as added 40 EVs and 3 full-sized electric transit buses to their municipal fleet. Over the next 10-15 years, the city hopes to continue expanding its network of EV and EV charging stations as well as regularly updating the software for maintaining these chargers. 

Fort Collins serves as a model for other communities seeking to modernize their infrastructure as well as secure funding for innovative projects. By emphasizing collaboration, obtaining letters of support, and outlining a clear and innovative vision, cities can increase their chances of success in the grant application process. The BAC is thrilled to have provided technical assistance in the writing of this grant proposal and is excited to learn more about the continued success of this initiative. 

To learn more about this project and to hear from Tracy, watch the BAC’s video below.

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