Street Lighting Project Boosts City’s Sustainability

Energy and sustainability expert Schneider Electric recently announced it is working with the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, on a city-wide street lighting retrofit project that will improve the city’s safety and sustainability efforts while reducing its utility budget by 38 percent. The $12.2 million project will provide the city with significant annual energy and maintenance savings.

The City of Lincoln’s street light system contains thousands of aging street lights that require significant maintenance and are not designed for optimal energy efficiency. Lincoln turned to Schneider Electric to convert its 26,799 street lights to LED technology, which provides a number of benefits including: Improved light quality to offer better visibility and improve safety for city residents; high energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption; reduced maintenance costs due to longer lifespan compared to traditional street lamps and improved aesthetics by creating a more uniform lighting experience throughout the city

“We’re excited to further our commitment to sustainability and save taxpayer dollars,” said Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler. “We will use the cost savings on this project to pay for the improvements and then we’ll invest in other important initiatives to make our community safer and more attractive to residents, businesses and visitors.”

The improved lighting will affect both residential and commercial spaces, providing a more well-lit area to improve safety across the city. The LED lighting will also improve driving visibility, enabling a safer driving experience across Lincoln’s city limits.

By investing in modernized lighting technology, this effort lowers the utility cost and maintenance rates for the existing infrastructure. The cost savings of this project help reduce deferred maintenance and allow funding to be used towards planning future infrastructure improvement projects.

“The city of Lincoln is committed to a sustainable future and doing its part to use new energy practices to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Frank Uhlarik, Sustainability and Compliance Administrator for the city of Lincoln. “LED conversion of our streetlight system was one of 14 strategies formalized in the Lincoln Environmental Action Plan adopted by our City Council in late 2017. Schneider Electric has been extremely helpful in helping us move towards our sustainability goals.”

The LED conversion project also has a positive environmental impact on the community by reducing the city’s annual kilowatt hours by 10.7 million and removing 3.9 million pounds of carbon from the atmosphere. This is equivalent to planting 180,891 trees or removing 1,224 cars from the road. Additionally, Schneider Electric will recycle a majority of the materials from the existing street lights—an added benefit to reducing landfill impacts and creating a cleaner environment for the city.

Construction will begin in October and is expected to be complete by mid-2019, with limited impact on city traffic during the construction phase of the project.