The city of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, has made the first move toward street lighting energy efficiency and cost savings with its LED streetlight pilot. The Cottage Grove program is testing the use of energy-efficient LED streetlights as replacements for the more traditional, but less energy efficient, high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps.
While the test program replaces only 12 streetlights, Cottage Grove officials hope to eventually replace all existing streetlights along busy roadways and residential areas.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Minnesota was awarded $54,000,000 for the State Energy Program. Governor Tim Pawlenty stated, “The state is prioritizing our energy investments to take advantage of existing programs and expand programs where appropriate.”
Many municipalities are funding LED streetlight pilots prior to receiving federal or state funds with the hope that demonstrated commitment might mean a leap to the front of the line when funds become available. According to Jennifer Levitt, Cottage Grove city engineer, “The streetlight conversion was paid for by existing streetlight funds.”
In addition to increased energy efficiency and a cleaner burning white light, Cottage Grove is looking forward to increased savings as a result of reduced maintenance costs. Because of a projected lifespan of up to twenty years, the LED lamp will require little to no maintenance over its lifetime. “We foresee savings with regard to maintenance and reduced electricity usage,” says Levitt.