The City of Wilmington’s stalled SMART City LED street light program has cleared City Council and is headed for a spring start.
The new project is expected to be completed in about a year. Mayor Mike Purzycki announced nearly nine months ago a plan to install LED smart node street lights on all 1,700 city-owned light poles.
The City will fund the project with a $2.1 million loan from the Efficient Energy Investment Fund administered by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
A $173,000 DNREC grant will cover the remaining cost of the project. It is estimated that the City will more than cover the cost of the 20-year loan through expected annual energy savings of at least $150,000, or approximately $3 million or more over the life of the loan.
“As I said when we first proposed the LED lighting system early in 2019, Wilmington is becoming a smarter city and we should all be proud of that,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. “We are preparing ourselves for what promises to be an exciting and challenging future dominated by ever-expanding technology and the use of data, LED lighting will give the entire city a new look and feel and it will add to our improving public safety efforts, but it will also make us a more cost-efficient, fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly city.”
The mayor today thanked Delmarva Power for joining with the City last July to announce the first phase of the city’s smart technology efforts entitled ConnectWilmington, which was a pilot LED lighting program for areas of West Center City, the Triangle Community, and the Brandywine Village/North Market Street community.
Mayor Purzycki and Public Works Commissioner Kelly Williams said Wilmington’s new LED smart street light technology will provide numerous cost and environmental benefits including:
- LED lights that can last 20 years or more
- Using 1,000,000 kWh less electricity every year and a reduction of 705.36 metric tons of CO2
- Full light dimming and switching capabilities for more brightly lit areas when needed
- Automatic light outage indicators for faster street light replacement
- Built-in motion detector interface
- Reduced maintenance time and costs
- Enhanced safety and security for City neighborhoods
- Annual savings that are verified and monitored via an embedded power meter
Other future benefits could include:
- Monitoring of on-street parking to provide residents and visitors with ideal times for parking and available parking locations
- Traffic management systems to transmit information about traffic flow, making daily commutes more efficient and time-saving
- Emergency management and public notification systems to help first responders make more informed decisions and accelerate emergency response by accurately directing personnel to emergency locations and keeping the public informed
- A detection system that directs police to a specific location during calls for service
- Air quality, weather and noise monitoring, as well as data collection to develop solutions to quality-of-life issues
- Radiation detection readings that can be used by emergency personnel
The new LED lighting program will produce safer and brighter streets, enhance the City’s environmental stewardship by further reducing its carbon footprint as well as provide employment opportunities for local residents with preference given for MBE participation through green/high tech training and jobs.
Wilmington has partnered with New Castle-based Seiberlich Trane to perform the design and engineering and manage the construction of the new program. Preferred Electric, a local union contractor will perform the installation utilizing Local 55 laborers and P2A program graduates from Howard High School of Technology. Lighting materials used for the project are being sourced through NRG LED Lighting & Solar LLC, an MBE company.