News, Transport

Is this the world’s largest LED streetlight retrofit?

LA has already upgraded 140,000 lanterns, with 70,000 more set to be changed in the second phase of the project.

After the first phase of the project was completed, Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles’ mayor at the time, said: ‘Completing the largest LED streetlight retrofit project is a win-win-win. This project cuts LA’s energy use by more than two-thirds, saves taxpayers millions of dollars, and reduces LA’s carbon emissions by more than 47,000 metric tonnes every year.’

Before the upgrade, LA consumed 168GWh of electricity a year running its streetlights, at an annual cost of $15 million (€11 million). The new lights have cut energy use by 63.1 per cent compared with the high-pressure sodium lamps they replaced, and have reduced carbon emissions by 47,583 tonnes a year.

The project is the result of a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Bureau of Streetlighting and the Outdoor Lighting Programme of the C40 group of large cities – all working with the Clinton Climate Initiative – and covers 6,500 miles (10,500km) of streets in LA, the second largest city in the US.

Bill Clinton said: ‘Mayor Villaraigosa understands that if we green our cities, we can green our planet. Individually, projects like the LED streetlights programme can transform a community. Collectively, they can set a new global standard for positive urban development.’

The project cost $57 million over four years and was funded with a $40 million loan from the LA Department of Water and Power, which will be paid off entirely through savings in energy and maintenance costs over the next seven years. Once the loan is paid, the city will save about $10 million a year – $7 million in electricity savings and the rest on maintenance.

The LED fixtures used in LA include Cree’s XSP series and LEDway series, Hadco’s RX series (Hadco is a Philips company), and Leotek’s GC series.

The city has also announced that it is going to expand a pilot programme with GE to measure the performance of GE’s LightGrid outdoor wireless control units, which enable remote monitoring and control of individual streetlights.

pic: Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, by kendiala