Street

Surrey upgrades 89,000 street lights with ‘smart city’ tech

A street lighting engineer in hard hat and high visibility jacket installs a street light
Surrey County Council is upgrading its 89,000 street lights to LED, saving around 60 per cent energy and 7,700 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. Credit: Andrew Parish/ajpmedia.com

UK LOCAL authority Surrey County Council is to upgrade its 89,000 street lights to LED and build in ‘smart city’ technology for future applications.

The move is expected to save around 60 per cent energy and 7,700 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.  

The new central management system (CMS) is being supplied by Urban Control in partnership with sister company DW Windsor and installed by Skanka.

The lighting will be ‘sensor-ready’, meaning that the council can add functionality in the future should it wish to get data about the environment, such as traffic flows, levels of air pollution, flooding and ice on the roads. 

The system is scalable and can be adapted to other applications as future needs require. 

‘The biggest challenge in completing a project such as this is the successful commissioning of the new CMS whilst simultaneously decommissioning the old system’, Simon Woodford, business director at Skanska, told Lux.

‘This particularly can present challenges in monthly energy settlement.’

To mitigate this problem, Skanska in conjunction with Urban Control has aligned the delivery programme with the decommissioning of the old CMS, which is being taken offline on a ward-by-ward basis. 

This means that there is no gap in the availability of lighting controls and the energy saving profile of the project is protected throughout. 

‘The biggest challenge in completing a project such as this is the successful commissioning of the new CMS whilst simultaneously decommissioning the old system’, Simon Woodford, business director at Skanska, told Lux. Pic: Andrew Parish/ajpmedia.com 

Further savings have also been achieved by reusing some of the existing hardware, and Urban Control has worked with sister company, DW Windsor, to develop a solution that enables maximum efficiency across the council’s assets. 

‘As the Surrey PFI is only 10 years old, it meant that there were in the region of 60,000 lanterns within the network that were perfectly serviceable,’ Simon continued.

‘DW Windsor developed an LED gear tray, which allowed a retro-fit solution to upgrade the existing luminaire carcasses, providing a greener solution to Surrey County Council, whilst also delivering tangible cost savings.’

In addition to developing the modified gear tray, the LED luminaire specification was upgraded to include DW Windsor’s Kirium Eco throughout the project. 

‘Moving this project into a position of delivery has taken many months due to the complex agreements associated with PFI. However, both teams have worked collaboratively, resolving any issues and are now delivering a world class project across a large county. 

‘This will benefit all residents as we move forward, achieving new innovations and a smarter more environmentally friendly contract,’ concluded Woodford. 

At the end of the three-year deployment period, Urban Control – which uses technology from Itron – will move to the 15-year service phase of the contract. 

For many local authorities, it is this aspect of the supply model that makes smart city technologies more attainable. 

By providing the network and software upgrade as a service, Urban Control retains ownership of the technology itself – meaning the council will benefit from ongoing innovations without having to make significant reinvestments in the future. 

The lighting will be ‘sensor-ready’, meaning that the council can add functionality in the future should it wish to get data about the environment, such as traffic flows, levels of air pollution, flooding and ice on the roads.  Pic: Andrew Parish/ajpmedia.com 

Rob Lumley, chief operating officer of Urban Control, commented: ‘At Urban Control, we’re not just selling products in the traditional sense, instead, we offer value as a service. 

‘It’s an outcome-based solution, whether the desired result is energy savings, environmental management or better traffic monitoring. 

‘We provide the data to build a business case for civic and planning decisions – and the application potential is unlimited.

‘The art is in joining the dots between seemingly unconnected data sets and drawing new insights from the information. 

‘For example, a council could use the data to gather the evidence required to pedestrianise an area or to install traffic calming measures.’