Fullerton, California, to fund smart city projects with energy savings – Utility Dive
- An $8.4 million energy-efficiency project in Fullerton, California, will save the Orange County city $12.1 million, it says, and it plans to use some of those savings to fund smart-city technologies.
- The city plans to upgrade about 7,700 lighting fixtures with new LED technology to reduce energy consumption, increase the fixtures’ lifespans by a minimum of 20 years and prepare for additional functionality in the future. Energy service provider NORESCO will also work with the city and the local utility, Southern California Edison, to convert almost 600 pole lights to LED technology.
- Projects the savings will fund include 15 new dual-port integrated electric vehicle chargers throughout the city, a ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system at the main water plant that provides renewable energy and carport-mounted PV systems at its city hall and the police department.
Fullerton’s self-funded project will help it prepare to convert more streetlights to LED technology, a move that also prepares them for other functions that have made streetlights the quintessential smart city technology. The effort will provide important data related to cost calculations and other factors that will help local leaders secure financing for future conversions, according to the announcement.
LED streetlights and streetlight-based smart-city sensors are expected to become a $28.1 billion market opportunity within this decade. Philadelphia recently launched a yearlong smart streetlight pilot to collect real-time information about traffic, street activity and the environment. Meanwhile, Chicago completed its smart streetlight program in early February, converting about 85% of its streetlights to LEDs. The conversion is projected to save the city $100 million in electricity costs over the next decade while also creating “one of the largest and most reliable smart technology infrastructure systems in the country,” according to the city.
Smart streetlights serve as the gateway into a lot of other smart city capabilities, said Michael Lake, president and CEO of Leading Cities, a global smart city non-profit. They have a strong business case, as the payback period is short and the impact is immediate, he said.
Similarly, Fullerton’s streetlights will serve as a backbone for local smart-city initiatives, according to Angela Vincoli, a senior marketing analyst at NORESCO. Almost 300 advanced lighting control units will be deployed, she said in an email interview.
“The units will provide innovative assistance through a cellular platform for city staff to reduce routine maintenance. An interoperability function will allow for remote control and tilt notification,” she said. The project will lay the groundwork for the city to …….