Connecticut LED street light program launches municipal ESCO purchases

ESCO Energy Services is set to receive its first LED street light conversion orders under the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities' Street Light Conversion Program.

Connecticut LED street light program launches municipal ESCO purchases
Connecticut LED street light program launches municipal ESCO purchases

ESCO Energy Services is set to receive its first LED street light conversion orders under the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities' Street Light Conversion Program.

ForceField Energy's ESCO Energy Services subsidiary has announced that it anticipates receiving the first LED street light conversion orders under the Municipal Street Light Conversion Program. In a five-year partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), the energy services company (ESCO) will enable municipalities to both purchase existing utility-owned street lights and convert those poles to LED-based fixtures.

Connecticut LED street light program launches municipal ESCO purchasesConnecticut LED street light program launches municipal ESCO purchases

The generic ESCO model for solid-state lighting (SSL) street light projects has emerged over the past several years in which an ESCO will fund a retrofit project with the municipality paying for the conversion over time via savings in electricity and maintenance. For example, Chevron Energy Solutions worked with LED and SSL module manufacturer Bridgelux on a retrofit program. More recently, Ameresco funded a major SSL retrofit project at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

Still, the ESCO Energy Services program goes beyond the typical retrofit project because it will allow municipalities that don’t own their street light inventory to purchase those lights from the local utility. Moreover, the offer includes the option to install networked controls and the management software and tools needed to manage the inventory both in terms of maintenance operations and in dimming the lights when appropriate for maximum energy savings.

"With a strong footprint across North America and diverse capabilities including comprehensive multi-site installations, real-time energy monitoring and analytics, and networked smart street light management systems, we are well positioned to penetrate the multi-billion LED street light market," said Richard St-Julien, ForceField Energy's executive chairman. The company says that it will future-proof the street light inventory for municipalities.

ESCO Energy Services said it is in negotiations with 20 of the 153 municipalities that comprise the CCM membership and believes the projects will commence in the second quarter. The company projects the potential to close to $25-$30 million in CCM LED street light projects during the next five years.

"We believe our ability to offer and deliver a comprehensive and fully integrated street light acquisition and LED conversion program that incorporates an array of financing options will set us apart in that growing vertical," said Mitch Barack, ESCO president and CEO. "As part of our program delivery, we also provide zero-landfill recycling of the old street light fixtures. Certificates of Recycling will be provided for all street lights received and processed. The zero-landfill recycling program actually pays the municipality for the value of the recyclable products we recover. This provides additional value in terms of contributing to the town's sustainability efforts and an added advantage of the ESCO comprehensive offering."

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