The city of Blair, Nebraska, will spend $323,000 of federal and local funds to deploy LED streetlights.
The federal stimulus funds are from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, which is locally administered by the Nebraska Energy Office (NEO). The federal stimulus funds of $249,000, combined with a twenty percent local matching grant of $74,284, will be used for the city’s LED streetlight replacement program. The contract for the EECBG funding is expected to be signed and submitted to the NEO by early August 2010.
The LED streetlight replacement project will be implemented in the city of Blair by the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), the local supplier of power to the city. The approximately four hundred existing HPS streetlights targeted for replacement are owned by OPPD and will be converted to LED fixtures. The project will be located among a cross section of residential and collector roadways. “We see this as a large pilot project to demonstrate how LED technology can meet our lighting requirements and demands in a cost effective manner,” said Allen Schoemaker, director of public works for the city of Blair.
Schoemaker anticipates replacing about 50 percent of existing OPPD owned streetlights in this first phase of LED streetlight deployment. “As LED technology improves and the cost of fixtures continues to come down, our long term goal is to eventually replace all of our city streetlights,” said Schoemaker. The city of Blair currently has 955 existing streetlights, of which 185 are owned and maintained by the Nebraska Department of Roads.
Blair city officials are relying on input from OPPD in choosing the LED streetlight fixture best suited to meet the technical specifications and requirements of the city. OPPD is currently evaluating a five streetlight pilot in Omaha where the Leotek FX series LED luminaire has been installed for performance testing.
According to Schoemaker, the city of Blair will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for the labor and installation of the LED streetlight fixtures. The LED fixtures will be competitively sourced by OPPD and purchased by the city of Blair. The RFP advertisement will be published in the local newspaper and letters will be sent to those who have expressed interest in the project.