Washington utility deploys smart streetlights under $2.6m programme


According to the Columbian, the Clark Public Utilities is investing up to $2.6 million towards the replacement of some 23,000 high-pressure sodium bulbs with energy efficient LED streetlights.

The new streetlight bulbs are being installed in phases in partnership with electrical installer DJ’s Electrical.

The utility division says the new LED bulbs being installed are 60% more energy efficient compared to the high-pressure sodium bulbs, therefore will result in reductions in energy bills for street lighting.

The development will also reduce operational costs incurred by the Clark Public Utilities in replacing damaged streetlight bulbs since LED bulbs have a longer life span of over 20 years.

The programme is being funded with an incentive won from the Bonneville Power Administration and $350,000 grant secured from the Washington Department of Commerce.

The Bonneville Power Administration is an agency of the Department of Energy which helps utility firms improve energy efficiency savings and sells electricity generated from some 31 hydroelectric dams to consumers in eight US states.

Clark Public Utilities is expecting to see the return on investments four years after completion of the project.

Public utilities and smart meters

The news follows an announcement made in March by the US county of Jefferson in Washington state of plans to replace existing analogue electric meters with smart meters in a move to modernise its billing processes.

The announcement was made following an approval made by the Jefferson County Public Utility District Commission for the county to implement the smart meter installation project.

The programme has been set for launch by the end of 2017 through to 2021 to replace some 16,000 existing analogue electric meters with the new meters.

The smart meters will installed at no cost to consumers to help the utility district to accurately bill its customers and reduce operational expenses associated with manual meter readings.

Jim Parker, the general manager at PUD, said the project will help reduce energy theft incurred as a result of meter tampering, improve management of distribution network and reduce power outages through quick identification of grid failure incidents and their locations.

The PUD will use the new system to design and introduce some new services such as energy efficiency and demand response initiatives to help consumers to reduce their energy consumption and cost.

The county is expecting to recover investments made in deploying the project from benefits of using the system within a period of five years following its completion.


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