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LED streetlight conversion to save NY town $900K a year

The New York Power Authority is partnering with the Town of Clarkstown, New York, to install LED street lighting throughout the town in a project that will save the municipality an estimated $900,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs.

The project has a price tag of nearly $2.9 million, including roughly $1.1 million in capital improvements, and is being financed and implemented by NYPA, according to a June 28 news release issued by the power authority and the town. In addition to the annual energy savings, the streetlight conversion project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 1,000 tons a year - the equivalent of removing more than 200 cars from the road, the power authority said.

The project calls for the replacement of roughly 3,900 inefficient street lighting fixtures with efficient LED fixtures.

"NYPA is working with local municipalities all across New York state to replace old, inefficient lighting with energy-saving LED technology," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO.

LED street lighting "is an important initiative that more local governments are exploring as it's not only fiscally beneficial and environmentally responsible, but it provides higher quality lighting, making roadways safer for drivers and pedestrians," he said.

Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann said the town will be the first in Rockland County to convert its streetlights to LEDs.
"This project not only keeps our commitment to preserve our community's environment for future generations, but brings much needed relief to our overburdened taxpayers as we save $900,000 in energy costs per year," Hoehmann said.

The energy efficiency project "is the latest advance under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's BuildSmartNY program to increase energy efficiency in municipalities and publicly owned buildings and supports the governor's goal to reduce climate emissions 40 percent by 2030, based on 1990 levels," NYPA said in the news release.

By upgrading to energy efficient LED technology now, which costs roughly $1.8 million more than a similar replacement to the existing, less efficient equipment, Clarkstown expects to achieve a two-year payback on its energy efficiency investment.

Other initiatives under the BuildSmartNY program have helped New Yorkers save tens of millions of dollars in utility costs while creating thousands of jobs and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions since the program's launch in 2012, NYPA noted.

The LED streetlight conversion is being financed by NYPA and will be paid back by the town. The project is targeted for completion by October.

NYPA said the LED street lighting project is made possible, in part, by a step taken last year by the New York State Public Service Commission to amend the Public Service Law to establish procedures for the transfer of ownership of complete street lighting systems to local governments.

"With the change in ownership, municipalities take control of the light fixtures on their own streets and have the opportunity to install state-of-the-art, energy efficient lights and new technologies to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment," the power authority said.

The Clarkstown project also supports New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV4NY) strategy to build a statewide energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers, NYPA said.