The city of Wichita Falls, Texas, has received $770,000 from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The funds will be used to retrofit approximately 1,000 existing streetlights throughout the municipal area. According to traffic engineer Mark Beauchamp, the city of Wichita Falls has 8,200 existing streetlights. Assuming success in the first phase of retrofits, Beauchamp said, “We would eventually like to retrofit all of our existing streetlights.”
The city of Wichita Falls expects to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) in December 2009. Although EECBG funds have been allocated and received, city officials are still establishing guidelines and specifications for the LED streetlight project. Engineers are reviewing documents and technical specifications from LED streetlight manufacturers to help identify which streetlights might lend themselves best to the needs of Wichita Falls.
The transition to LED streetlights is expected to lead to reduced electricity costs of up to 65%, which results in savings of $50,000 to $60,000 annually. City employees will be responsible for installing and maintaining the streetlights.