From Green Mountain Power
RUTLAND, VT. – Continuing to pilot new and emerging technologies in Rutland for the benefit of customers across Vermont, Green Mountain Power’s Energy Innovation Center (EIC) has kicked off a streetlight pilot program aimed at improving efficiency, streetlight repairs and public safety.
In collaboration with the City of Rutland, GMP has installed 100 high-efficiency LED streetlights with intelligent controls in the Northwest sector of Rutland City, along with 41 solar panels mounted on utility poles. The panels should produce about 12,800 kWh annually, enough energy to offset the lights’ use.
The lights are the first in the GMP system with the ability to notify the company when they fail; normally streetlights aren’t repaired until someone reports their failure or an employee notices one isn’t working properly.
“These lights should give us instantaneous notification if a failure occurs, allowing us to repair or replace it immediately,” Green Mountain President and CEO Mary Powell said. “That will mean less down time, more continuous street-lighting, and improved customer service.”
The streetlights and solar panels were installed after a door-to-door outreach effort in the neighborhood to inform customers of the impending changes, and gather input on the placement of the solar panels. In addition to the pilot, GMP is replacing remaining city streetlights with regular LED lights.
The new LED lights provide whiter light than the lights they are replacing, with less “castoff light,” while using 70% less energy.
Once the project is complete, GMP and city officials plan to determine collaboratively whether any additional lights should be installed to improve public safety. GMP Vice President Steve Costello, who leads the EIC, said the city itself is the customer in the case of street-lighting, and thanked city leaders for their collaboration in the pilot.
“The streetlight pilot represents the marriage of high efficiency and renewable generation,” Costello said. “We expect what we learn from this will have broad benefits for customers across our service territory.”
Mayor Chris Louras said he was pleased that GMP focused the pilot in the northwest sector of the city, and Rutland in general. “Rutland is quickly building a reputation for its embrace of new energy technology,” Louras said. “Combine that with the potential benefits of these new lights, and Rutland wins all around as we help study technology that will benefit other communities as well.”
The GMP EIC is focused on research and development of new and proven techniques, technologies and customer programs for efficiency, renewable generation, micro grids, smart grid deployment and advanced technologies to integrate renewable generation with the electric grid. The streetlight pilot is the latest effort from the EIC, which has or will include initiatives focused on energy storage, transportation, system hardening, distributed generation, and customer rate choices. Over time, GMP hopes to create one-stop shopping for all of customers’ energy needs, regardless of the energy sector.
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which was named 2014 Solar Champion by Vote Solar, serves more than 250,000 customers and has set its vision to be the best small company in America.