The state of Oregon’s largest electric utility, Portland General Electric (PGE), recently launched a large scale installation of LED streetlights with the goal of reducing energy consumption and costs for its municipal customers. The first deployment was in February 2013, in Clackamas County, and focused on replacing 8,000 high pressure sodium (HPS) cobrahead streetlights with LED streetlights. Ultimately, PGE plans to replace 26,000 HPS streetlights throughout forty-seven cities and five counties.
The first installations will focus on lower wattage roadway streetlights followed by intersection lighting. PGE is offering its customers the choice of LED cobrahead fixtures manufactured by either Cree Lighting or Leotek Electronics. Nearly 4,000 LED streetlights have already been installed. Most of the conversions will be completed by the end of 2014. “While we are primarily focused on replacing cobrahead fixtures, we are working on evaluating options for decorative streetlights as well,” said Brianne Hyder, spokesperson for PGE.
The communities participating in the LED streetlight program include the counties of Clackamas, Columbia, Washington, Multnomah, Polk, Marion, and Yamhill. The cities of Estacada, West Linn, and Oregon City have been among the first cities to receive the new fixtures. PGE will pay the capital costs of the conversions and then pass the savings to its customers. The Oregon Public Utility Commission recently approved a rate structure reflecting the lower energy consumption of LED streetlight fixtures. “We expect the new LED streetlight fixtures for use up to 70% less energy resulting in significant savings for our customers,” said Hyder.