An influx of federal money will fund the first phase of LED streetlight conversion in Racine, Wisconsin.
A recipient of $650,000 from the Community Development Block Grant Recovery (CDBG-R) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG), the city of Racine is well on its way to streets lit by LED lights.
Anticipating annual energy savings of $700,000 with a switch to LED streetlights, Racine expects the lighting conversion to slash long-term operating costs. The conversion will also have a direct, positive impact on the local economy. John Rooney, Assistant Commissioner of Public Works/Engineering, stated that electrical and construction work of the LED streetlight retrofit will be performed by local contractors. He went on to say, “The purchase of the LED lamps is open to competitive bid through an open bidding process. The lowest bidder meeting all project specifications will be awarded the project.”
Ultimately, Racine would like to retrofit all of its existing streetlights. There are currently 3,400 lights owned by the City of Racine and an additional 4,800 streetlights leased from We Energy. A complete retrofit of city-owned streetlights should result in approximately $1.8 million in annual energy cost savings. However, according to Rooney, “The city does not have the budget to undertake such a comprehensive project. It is only possible through the federal stimulus package, and as long as we get these funds we will continue to upgrade our streetlights to LEDs.”