Thursday, September 29, 2011

Welland to replace all street lights with LEDs

Welland, Ontario, is to replace 4300 street lights and 2410 decorative fixtures with LED lights.

The City Council in Welland, Ontario, Canada, has voted unanimously in favor to completely replace the city’s streetlights with LED fixtures.

The Council also approved the capital financing cost of CAN$2.74 million through a debenture. This will be paid back by utilizing the savings from the program. The LED retrofit program will reduce street-lighting energy costs by $221,553 and street-lighting maintenance costs by $159,250 in year one.

The first phase of the project will include the replacement of 4300 Cobra-head high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures, and is expected to be completed by April 2012. Phase 2 will consist of the replacement of 2410 decorative fixtures.

The estimates of the total cost of operating its current HPS-based lighting system will amount to almost $18 million over 15 years, which is the “estimated true cost of doing nothing.” With the switch to LED lighting, the City will save a total of $6.8 million in operating costs. After paying the various charges including debt repayments, the city will save a net amount of $2.38 million over the 15-year term of the agreement, and will reduce its annual carbon emissions from 2.1 million kg CO2 to 541,000 kg CO2. The project document says that the City might also benefit from carbon-credit sales.

Welland staff led by David Ferguson, Manager of Traffic, Parking & Bylaw Operations, began reviewing LED lighting in 2007 when staff identified that the current street-lighting infrastructure was becoming outdated and in need of replacement.

When the entire project is completed in December 2012, the municipality believes it will become the first in North America to have completely converted its entire street-lighting network to LEDs.

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