CLIFTON PARK — After more than a year of working through the process, the town has reached an agreement with National Grid for the purchase of over 400 street lights.
The resolution, slated to be approved by the Town Board at Monday’s 5 p.m. meeting, is a significant step forward in the town’s street light energy-saving project, which seeks to retrofit all of the lights with LED bulbs.
Just over one year ago, Clifton Park contracted with Siemens Industry Inc., a company that has experience with converting lights in other Northeast communities, for the retrofitting work.
The contract, which was unanimously approved by the Town Board last November, was a step toward the town’s long-term goal of saving money by becoming more energy efficient.
The town will purchase a total of 413 streetlights at a cost of $480,459, plus $10,464 in transition costs for the project, but the conversion is projected to save almost $5 million in energy and utility costs over 20 years. The town is expecting to recoup its investment in the lights in seven years.
The town is expected to save 60 to 65 percent in energy expenses after the new LED lighting is installed.
The new lights will include technology that allows for efficient maintenance and the ability to dim or brighten specific lights, the town said.
Smart City street lighting controls will be installed, as well, to allow the town to monitor nearby air quality, traffic and noise. The town-controlled lighting will also enhance safety for pedestrians and cyclists, according to town officials.
As part of the conversion, Siemens will train town employees how to replace the bulbs, which are projected to last 10 years.
The installation of a control node in each new light will allow them to be dimmed or brightened as necessary during special events or emergencies.
Town Supervisor Phil Barrett has referred to the plan as a victory for the town, and a move down the path toward making Clifton Park as environmentally sustainable as possible.
“We are incorporating the equipment necessary to ensure Clifton Park remains on the forefront of technological advancement,” Barrett said.
Clifton Park is not the first local municipality to switch over to LED lights.
Last year, the city of Schenectady, through its Schenectady’s Smart City Initiative, announced that National Grid would install LED lights in approximately 4,200 streetlights across the city, along with networked lighting controls, Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as the Smart City technology. The latter will allow the light poles to be fitted with environmental sensors and other technology related to public safety, health care and the delivery of other public services.
Once the Town Board approves a contract with National Grid for the purchase of the street lights, the contract will be forwarded to the New York State Public Service Commission for approval.