The city of Mobile, Alabama, is on the cusp of launching an ambitious, large scale effort to replace traditional arterial roadway lighting with energy efficient LED streetlight fixtures.
Mobile’s project, which was subject to a competitive bidding process, has been provisionally awarded to the apparent low bidder. However, before the award is officially announced, the low bidder must supply three additional fixtures for field testing. The city of Mobile will fund the project with an award of $1,175,000 from the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The project will involve at least 1,000 LED streetlight fixtures with an option to purchase up to 2,000 fixtures.
“We tested LED streetlight fixtures from anyone who submitted them to us. All were installed along the same roadway so that we could compare them, take readings and evaluate performance,” said Jennifer White, director of traffic engineering for the city of Mobile. This pilot program enabled the city to assess its illumination needs as well as develop specifications for the proposed project. The duration of the pilot study was almost one year and included many of the fixtures which were eventually submitted for bid. “It was useful to have a large number of LED streetlight submitted to us for evaluation, and we were pleased at the number of responses to the RFP,” said White.
“The upcoming installation will be focused on arterial roadways where we will replace existing 250 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights,” said White. The city also intends to meter all new LED streetlights as well as select locations of HPS fixtures in order to accurately compare energy consumption. The full installation will begin once the testing of the sample from the low bidder is complete. Installation will be completed through an existing streetlight installation contract.