NYSERDA funding supports solar LED street lights

Sept. 28, 2007
SolarOne and Hadco will supply solar-powered LED lighting systems to a community development program in Sullivan County, New York.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will fund three main street lighting projects using solar-powered LED lighting systems from SolarOne Solutions and Hadco. The project is overseen by the Sullivan Renaissance, a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.

The Village of Woodridge, the Town of Liberty and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts will install solar-powered post-top style lamp-post fixtures developed through the collaboration of SolarOne Solutions, LLC and Hadco Lighting.

The fixture housing and base are drawn from a classic traditional design and integrate state-of-the art LED lighting technology and photovoltaic (PV) panels with SolarOne’s intelligent SO-Bright™ controls. The unit operates independent of the electrical grid through a storage battery concealed in the base.

Increases in LED and solar cell efficiency combined with refinements in control technology enable SolarOne's system to produce dramatically more light for longer periods of time for given solar panel/battery dimensions. The system is designed to address aesthetic concerns of architects and planners who consider decorative lighting systems powered by bulky solar panels and batteries as unappealing.

"SolarOne’s system appears to have reached the cross-over point to bring these elements in at sufficient size to be readily integrated into our standard lighting package and look like they belong," said Hadco General Manager Chris Hammelef. "Untethered from the grid, who knows where the new markets for our lights will come from."

NYSERDA president and CEO Paul Tonko said, “As LEDs improve in efficiency and white light color, solar LED street lighting is a natural application, especially in northern climates, because LEDs and solar panels both run on DC power and LEDs burn more brightly under cold temperatures.” The NYSERDA contract provides matching funds to complement contributions of the partners.

The system provides the peace of mind that it will be operational, even during disasters and emergencies when the grid may be down. With heightened attention to security, aging infrastructure, globalization and increasing population, demand for outdoor lighting is expected to accelerate. A major barrier to this market expansion is access to power, which typically requires major investment in trenching and wiring. In many instances, solar power can overcome this issue.