Spencer, Iowa, has been awarded $52,000 in federal stimulus funds to implement a 150 fixture LED streetlight replacement project. The award will be used to replace existing 120 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) roadway lights with the more energy efficient LED technology. The Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program is the source of the funds.
The city of Spencer originally planned to begin LED fixture installation this fall, but guidelines established by Iowa’s utility code have delayed the start of the project. The utility code requires all non-decorative roadway lights in Iowa to be high pressure sodium fixtures. The Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities is in discussion with the state utility board to amend the code to include LED and other energy efficient streetlights. City officials anticipate a favorable ruling and hope to begin the streetlight replacement in early 2011.
The LED streetlights will be installed along US Highways 71 and 18, providing energy efficient lighting along the corridor entering town, according to Curtis Dean, resource conservation coordinator for the Spencer municipal utility. “By switching to LED streetlights, we have calculated annual energy cost savings of $6,400 as well as reduced energy consumption of 120,000 kw/H annually,” said Dean. The city of Spencer will solicit competitive bids for the LED fixtures. The Spencer municipal utility will install the lights.
“This project will enable us to replace about 10% of our existing roadway lights. Over time, our long term goal is to replace around 1,500 existing HPS streetlights with LED streetlights,” said Dean. The city has already demonstrated success with an earlier decorative streetlight conversion program using LED technology.