The city of Rapid City, South Dakota, has installed 70 energy efficient streetlights in a pilot project. The initiative was funded by a $49,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. As part of the pilot program, public works officials chose to evaluate both LED and induction technologies. Installed fixtures include 35 LED streetlight fixtures from BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting, and 35 induction streetlight fixtures from Neptune Lighting.
“We chose to install both LED and induction streetlights in our core downtown area because the land use and characteristics of all the streets are similar. We are testing both technologies so that we can determine which one has the best performance in our local conditions,” said John Less, traffic engineer for the city of Rapid City. All of the fixtures in the pilot installation will be metered, so that energy consumption can be accurately calculated. Currently, Rapid City pays a flat rate to Black Hills Power and West River Electric Association, local suppliers of power to the city. “The calculations from our metered streetlights will help us work with the power companies to establish a new tariff for energy efficient streetlights,” said Less.
City engineers will monitor the installation and also solicit public opinion of the new streetlights. The public will be asked for input on their perception of illumination as well as visual attractiveness of the fixtures.
Rapid City is illuminated by over 4,000 streetlights. The city owns and maintains approximately two thousand streetlights, while the remaining streetlights are owned and maintained by the two local power companies. “This pilot will help us determine if we go forward with further energy efficient streetlight installations. If we do continue, we will only replace city-owned fixtures,” said Less.