The city council of San Antonio, Texas, recently approved the replacement of 25,000 existing streetlights with energy efficient LED streetlight fixtures. The city’s streetlights are owned and operated by municipal utility, CPS Energy. The project implementation time is expected to be about eighteen months and will be focused on the city’s central business district and major thoroughfares. An exclusive contract for the supply of the LED streetlights was awarded to local San Antonio-based GreenStar.
“We tested GreenStar LED fixtures in a pilot, and based on the results, selected their fixtures for our upcoming installation,” said Marion Gee, assistant finance director for public utilities for the city of San Antonio. The project will be managed by CPS Energy. Initial plans include replacing about 1,500 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights in the city’s central business district. The remaining 23,500 LED fixtures will be installed on major roadways. Existing HPS fixtures targeted for replacement are 250 watts and 400 watts. “We are considering a bond issue to pay for part of the project, which will be paid back through energy savings,” said Gee. Energy and maintenance savings are expected to be about $17.3 million over a fifteen year life cycle, according to Gee. The payback period is calculated at approximately twelve years.
“CPS Energy is preparing a new rate tariff to reflect the reduced energy consumption of LED streetlights and we expect it to be in place by this summer,” said Christine Patmon, spokesperson for CPS Energy. Existing streetlights are currently billed at a flat rate. Installation of the LED streetlight fixtures is expected to begin in May or June 2012.