The city of Chico, California, is poised to begin its first large-scale LED streetlight installation. The city plans to convert 1,100 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) cobra head streetlights with LED fixtures manufactured by BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting of Racine, Wisconsin. The project is funded by a $650,000 award from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and will incorporate energy efficiency rebates from local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).
“We are working with the PG&E turnkey program and have chosen to install the BetaLED streetlight fixture,” said Kirby White, public works manager for the city of Chico. The 1,100 fixtures slated for replacement are city-owned streetlights. The city expects to save up to $58,000 per year in electrical costs and nearly $7,500 in associated streetlight maintenance costs. As part of the PG&E turnkey program, the city is able to leverage an additional $120,000 in rebates and reduced rate tariffs for the energy efficient streetlights.
As a supplement to the LED fixtures, Chico public works chose to include dimmable drivers, manufactured by Philips Lighting, in anticipation of future dimming capabilities for the energy efficient streetlights. According to PG&E, this is the first time such fixtures have been installed in a PG&E turnkey project. The city of Chico currently owns and maintains approximately 4,275 HPS streetlights. According to city officials, long term plans include eventually replacing all of the city-owned streetlights with energy efficient fixtures.