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Energy-efficient lighting upgrades to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve safety & save money
Program calls for 500,000 street lights to be converted to LED technology by 2025
The New York Power Authority, the Town of Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda announced the installation of energy-efficient LED streetlights throughout the municipalities as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Smart Street Lighting NY, a statewide program that calls for at least 500,000 streetlights throughout the state to be replaced with LED technology by 2025.
The projects include the installation of more than 7,600 LED streetlights, improving lighting quality and neighborhood safety while reducing energy and maintenance costs. The lighting projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1,330 metric tons, the equivalent of removing more than 1,050 cars from the road. The installations are expected to begin this month and complete by the end of the year.
The $7.5 million lighting upgrade in the Town of Tonawanda will be implemented by NYPA and include the replacement of nearly 6,170 streetlights throughout the town with energy-saving LED fixtures. The town is financing the lighting installation and the more than $12 million purchase of the lights from National Grid through a municipal bond.
NYPA will be providing up to $300,000 in Smart Cities grants for the project, which include asset management nodes and smart street lighting controls that allow for the automatic reporting of outages, minimizing maintenance costs. In addition, the light fixtures now have the capability to be dimmed and remotely controlled.
The $1.2 million lighting upgrade in the City of Tonawanda will be implemented by NYPA and include the replacement of nearly 1,450 streetlights throughout the city with energy-saving LED fixtures.
"This is a win for reducing energy costs and improving public safety while saving money for taxpayers," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “The installation of 7,600 new LED streetlights in the Town of Tonawanda and City of Tonawanda will also increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we work to build back better, cleaner and more resilient for the post-pandemic future.”
NYPA President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, “Under the Smart Street Lighting NY program, NYPA is in the process of replacing tens of thousands of streetlights across the state and fully expects to exceed the governor’s goal of replacing 500,000 lights by 2025. This impactful program is helping municipalities like the Town and City of Tonawanda to reduce energy and maintenance costs and improve safety, while also protecting the environment.”
Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph H. Emminger said, “The Town of Tonawanda is excited to take on ownership and maintenance of streetlights. Once the streetlights are converted to LED, residents are expected to not only realize significant savings on their tax bill, but see an improved response to streetlight repairs with the modern streetlight management technology. As an added bonus, the town will be taking advantage of a grant from NYPA to invest in smart city technology, which will put data and digital technology to work to make better decisions and improve the quality of life.”
City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis said, “This is a process that first started back in 2017 and I thank everyone involved for their hard work. Once the bond is paid off, there will significant savings to city taxpayers. This will also open up the possibility of offering 5G Wi-Fi citywide.”
City of Tonawanda Common Council President Jenna Koch said, “This is wonderful news for the City and Town of Tonawanda. We are excited for this opportunity. Thank you to the many partners who helped to bring this to fruition.”
NYPA is working with cities, towns, villages and counties throughout New York to fully manage and implement a customer’s transition to LED streetlight technology. NYPA provides upfront financing for the project, with payments to NYPA made in the years following from the cost-savings created by the reduced energy use of the LED streetlights, which are 50 to 65% more efficient than alternative street lighting options.
Through this statewide street lighting program, NYPA’s government customers are provided a wide array of lighting options to help meet their individual needs, including specifications on the lights to incorporate SMART technology, which can be used for dozens of other functions, such as cameras and other safety features, weather sensors, Wi-Fi and energy meters.
The program directly supports the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, through the increased use of energy efficiency to annually reduce electricity demand by 3% – equivalent to 1.8 million New York households – by 2025. To learn more about the Smart Street Lighting NY program, visit the program webpage on NYPA’s website.