Outdoor, Street, Transport

Make money from our highway – if you light it

A cash-strapped government has come up a novel way to fund the illumination of its major roads – companies who install LED lights can exploit commercial opportunities along the highway.

The Government of El Salvador doesn’t have the funds to illuminate some 89 miles (143 kilometres) of trunk roads in the country.

These include highways in the capital, San Salvador,  the coastal city of La Libertad and in the La Paz region. 

However, it wants latest LED street lighting as well as video cameras installed along the roads. 

It says the work is necessary in order to increase road and public safety and improve conditions for pedestrians.

It estimates the equipment and works will cost the winning bidder around £9.5 million ($12.4 million). 

So government chiefs have come up with a unique model. Companies who agree to supply the kit will be able to recover the investment through what the Ministry for Public Works and Transportation dubbed ‘the economic exploitation of sections of the right of way of the project area’.

The winning firm must design, finance, supply, install, operate and maintain the public lighting system and the video equipment. 

The latter will, however, be operated and managed by the public authorities.

Companies must pay £1,100 (USD $1,500) to enter. The deadline is 2 Juner 2020.

The offers will be opened and evaluated in public ceremony on June 22, 2020, at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.

The capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador, has extensive LED lighting – but to fund highway lighting the government is offering a special concession

The lights-for-commercial-opportunities swop is one of an emerging wave of funding models for LED upgrades. 

This includes so-called ‘lighting as a service’ in which the capital cost of the equipment and installation is absorbed or financed by the supplier.

The latter charges a monthly fee for the supply of illumination.

Other models include ‘invest to save’ in which the money saved by lower energy costs is split between the supplier and client.