Seattle will lead US LED street light consortium for DOE

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has tapped Seattle's publicly owned power utility to head a national consortium that will seek to accelerate the deployment of energy-saving LED street lights. Seattle City Light will drive the Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium and enable broad sharing of information among municipalities nationwide via live and online forums.

Membership in the consortium is immediately open to cities, power providers, and other organizations that invest in street and area lighting. The members will share their experiences via regional and national meetings, webcasts, and online discussion forums. Edward Smalley, manager of streetlight engineering at Seattle City Light, will lead the collaboration.

The consortium is being funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The stated goal of the consortium is "to build a repository of valuable field experience and data that will significantly accelerate the learning curve for buying and implementing high-quality, energy efficient LED street lights."

"As communities look to this technology to cut energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprint, and lower operating costs, this national consortium will share valuable information so they can make smarter, more informed decisions about the equipment they buy," said Jim Brodrick, DOE Lighting Program Manager.

Parties with interest in joining the consortium can visit a dedicated DOE web page on the organization. The organization will include primary members that invest in SSL lighting and advisory members that have a history of promoting lighting quality and power efficiency. The consortium will also leverage expert guests to both present information and review draft specifications and other information prior to issuance.

More cities plan LED street light deployments

Meanwhile, we're witnessing almost a daily occurrence of additional municipalities announcing LED street light programs, and here are some recent examples.

According to the AnnArbor.com blog, the city of Ann Arbor of Michigan is moving ahead jointly with DTE energy to convert 58 conventional street lights to LEDs. The city has previously trialed such street lights as LEDs Magazine chronicled previously

A New York Times blog post discussed an effort by Dialight to test LED street lights that communicate wirelessly allowing a city to remotely dim or control clusters of lights. The tests will take place in Pittsburgh and Edinburgh.

According to the New Streetlights blog, Columbus, Wisconsin has received a $159,200 DOE grant that it will use to convert 283 street lights to LED lights. The city conducted a pilot program back in 2008.

The Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce has reported a couple of recent LED projects. The TriMet agency is installing LED lights for a park and ride lot. And the city of Tigard near Portland willlight Burnham Street with LEDs.

The Troy, Alabama Messenger newspaper is reporting an LED deployment in the nearby town of Brundidge. The small town hopes to save $19,000 per year by converting only 10 existing lights.

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