Outdoor SSL news: Ameresco supplies Oregon, Signify connects New York, SALC sets digital dates (UPDATED)

June 26, 2020
Energy Services Company Ameresco is retrofitting 80,000 legacy street lights in Oregon with LED products, while Signify is behind a connected SSL project in New York and Syracuse names manager. Plus, we learn that SALC has gone virtual.

Ameresco, an energy services company (ESCO), has announced and begun a street-light conversion project in the state of Oregon that will ultimately involve 8000 luminaires. Signify has announced a New York State solid-state lighting (SSL) project that will ultimately see as many as 500,000 legacy luminaires replaced, with many integrating a wireless connectivity option and hosting smart-city capabilities. In a portion of the New York project, Syracuse added a full-time manager for the connected SSL installation.

Oregon project

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) commissioned Ameresco in the SSL project that will cover highways in Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, and Washington Counties. Working with an ESCO is one common way that municipal agencies and facility owners can afford major SSL upgrades. The Oregon project will approach $20 million in costs over the course of the next year to eighteen months. But Ameresco will ensure return on investment for ODOT based on an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). ODOT and Ameresco estimate that the conversion will eliminate 3500 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

“We’re very excited to get this project under way in the Portland area because it will reduce carbon emissions, save taxpayers money, and improve safety for ODOT maintenance staff,” said Rian Windsheimer, ODOT manager for the Portland area. “This project is a win across the board.” The retrofit will deliver around 50% in energy savings relative to the high-pressure sodium (HPS) luminaires being replaced.

The retrofits began in May and will be completed by summer of 2021. The contract calls for a mix of 3000K- and 4000K-CCT fixtures depending on the type of roadway. And all of the fixtures will be dark-sky friendly with minimal uplight. A few months back, we covered guidance published by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) on dark-sky friendly installations.

“The Oregon Department of Transportation oversees an expansive network of highways in the Pacific Northwest and is committed to using the latest technologies to ensure its roadways are well-maintained,” said Louis Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “By replacing older and outdated lighting fixtures in the Portland Metro region with these [energy-efficient] LEDs, ODOT is making significant improvements in terms of public safety and sustainability.”

Smart cities in New York

Meanwhile, across the country, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is working with Signify on a street-light retrofit project first launched back in 2018. There have already been 50,000 LED street lights installed. And now the NYPA is offering municipalities in the state financing options and also logistical and technical help for communities that want to add connectivity and the Signify Interact City central management system with Internet of Things (IoT) capability.

“In addition to illuminating roadways, street lighting systems are essential vertical assets in smart-city deployments,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Municipalities can save money on their utility bills and maintenance costs by adopting connected LED lighting while leveraging the value of their street lighting systems for additional benefits.”

Rochester is one city that is taking advantage of the offer. “The platform opens up a variety of options for city maintenance and governance,” said Abebe Woldemariam, street-lighting program coordinator for Rochester. “With Interact City, we can now remotely monitor the system via a central dashboard, identifying required maintenance very quickly. Should any glitch occur, the system proactively prompts managers even before our residents have noticed, and that’s a big plus.”

In separate smart-city news from New York State, the City of Syracuse announced that it has named a full-time street-light manager for the first time. Ken Towsley will take the post after previously serving in code enforcement. The Syracuse project was also tied to the NYPA program and a manager was required given the deployment of connected luminaires. Over the course of the past year, the city has retrofitted around 80% of more than 17,400 luminaires. And the city announced that NYPA has named Syracuse New York State’s Flagship Smart City.

~Breaking lighting event news~

We at LEDs Magazine have just learned that the annual Street and Area Lighting Conference (SALC), organized by the IES, has been moved to a virtual event for 2020. Originally scheduled for in-person attendance in Dallas, TX, the virtual conference program will take place from Oct. 19–21, 2020. Organizers say that the spread of the program across three days will help to minimize the time away from work activities for registrants. The SALC registration portal is open now, with the program and additional details to be distributed at a later time.

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*Updated June 26, 2020 10:50 AM with conference news.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.