The city of Boaz, Alabama, recently announced that it has received funding to initiate a large scale LED streetlight installation along a major roadway corridor. The project will be funded through a grant from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program combined with municipal funds. The EECBG funds are locally administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA). The installation includes both solar wrapped poles and LED streetlight fixtures. Total EECBG project funding is $221,900 and includes the purchase and installation of about 70 poles and LED fixtures.
“The existing mercury vapor fixtures which are slated for replacement are on US Highway 431, a major corridor, and they have been up for about forty years. We are looking at replacing them with energy efficient LED technology as well as solar panel wrapped poles,” said Tim Walker, mayor of the city of Boaz. The city previously installed an LED streetlight, manufactured by General Electric (GE), as a test fixture. According to Walker, the city is working with representatives from GE on the project design for the upcoming installation. The streetlight pole under consideration is manufactured by Inovus Solar of Boise, Idaho. “The city council will authorize the issuance of the bid, and, at this point, it appears that it will specify GE fixtures,” said Walker.
The goal of the solar wrapped poles is to generate enough energy to power the LED fixtures off the electric grid. Initial calculations show that in addition to powering the streetlights, surplus power is expected. City plans include selling the excess power back to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) energy grid. All of the new streetlights will be metered to precisely calculate energy consumption. Preliminary data indicates that the city will save about $7,000 in energy costs per year with the new LED streetlights plus additional savings from reduced maintenance costs. “We expect to release the RFP for the project shortly, and our mandate is to complete the installation by June 30, 2012,” said Walker.