The city of Easthampton, Massachusetts has been awarded $174,985 from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for a project to install 200 LED streetlights. The funds have been awarded through a Green Communities Grant from the DOER’s Green Communities Division. The purpose of these awards is to enable Massachusetts cities and towns to reduce their energy consumption by implementing energy efficient projects.
With the DOER funding, city officials expect to replace approximately 200 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights with LED fixtures. Currently, arterial roadways are lit by 250 watt HPS fixtures and residential streets are lit by 75 watt HPS fixtures. “Our city’s goal is to reduce our overall energy consumption by 20%, and by switching to the more energy efficient LED streetlights, we plan on meeting that number,” said Michael Tautznik, mayor of the city of Easthampton. Along with energy savings, the city hopes that the increased lifespan and reduced maintenance requirements of LED fixtures will also result in additional savings. In 2006, the city purchased all existing streetlights from Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMEC), the city’s energy provider, which has already proven to be more efficient and cost-effective for Easthampton.
“We are already having discussions with Western Massachusetts Electric Company about a revised tariff structure to reflect our upcoming LED streetlight project. Since we are charged a flat rate for our streetlight energy use, a revised tariff, reflecting the lower energy consumption of LEDs, will also be of great benefit to our community,” said Tautznik. Once funds are received from the commonwealth, the city of Easthampton plans to review the best application of LED streetlight technology, with the assistance of the engineering departments of Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. When studies have been completed, city officials anticipate announcing public competitive bidding process for the LED streetlight project.