The city of Hercules, California, has been awarded $135,630 from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program for the installation of LED streetlights. The LED luminaires, which will be 50 watt equivalent fixtures, will replace existing 70 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights. City officials are awaiting final allocation of funds from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in order to begin the project.
According to Erwin Blancaflor, director of public works for the city of Hercules, “We are eager to get the LED streetlight project started, and if we don’t receive the CEC allocation by August 2010, we have recommended that the city fund the project and apply for later reimbursement.” The LED streetlight project will be deployed along two collection streets: Refugio Valley Road and Sycamore Avenue.
The EECBG funds awarded to Hercules stipulate that a direct purchase of LED fixtures can be made, enabling the city to bypass a competitive bidding process. After evaluating fixtures from three vendors, the city has chosen to purchase LED streetlights from Holophane. “We found that the LED fixtures from Holophane were easy to install and we can also equip them with sensors for purposes of dimming,” said Blancaflor. The city’s long term goals are to replace all existing HPS streetlights with LED fixtures. Hercules currently owns approximately 1,600 streetlights. As additional funding becomes available, city officials hope to install smart sensors on the new LED fixtures.
Hercules is located in the Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) service area, but will not be participating in the PG&E turnkey program. However, the city is eligible for PG&E rebates and will be billed at a revised rate which reflects the energy use reduction of LED streetlights.