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Smart Street LED Lighting Modernization Project

Smart Street LED Lighting Modernization Project-News Cover

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Ameresco, Inc., a Framingham-based cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, yesterday, February 9, announced the completion of its comprehensive Chicago Smart Lighting Program (CSLP) with the City of Chicago to modernize existing street LED lighting infrastructure.

The project is believed to be the largest city-led wireless smart street light program in the U.S. and connects approximately 280,000 street light fixtures across Chicago.

As the primary energy efficiency contractor for the $160 million project, Ameresco replaced about 85% of the City’s street lights with smart LEDs. The new fixtures use 50-75% less electricity, effectively cutting associated energy costs in half, and last two to three times as long as traditional High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights.

The City of Chicago is projected to save $12.4 million in electricity this year alone and over $100 million in electricity costs throughout the next 10 years.

In addition to the project’s financial benefits, the modernization effort also seeks to improve public safety in Chicago by providing higher quality, more reliable lighting. Throughout the installation process, the City also made it a priority to ensure that it relied on a diverse set of subcontractors, particularly those from minority- and women-owned businesses, to create more equitable access to jobs and marketable skills for residents.

“Creation of the lighting management system puts us in the forefront of smart cities around the nation,” CDOT Commissioner Gia Biagi said. “The program has made Chicago a greener city and is providing clearer, more reliable nighttime lighting in every neighborhood. And the smart LED lighting management is making our operations more efficient, enabling our workforce to respond to outages more quickly when they occur.”

The four-year modernization project was completed in collaboration with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Department of Transportation, Itron, John Burns Construction and Lyons View Manufacturing, a certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) dedicated to creating job opportunities for local Chicago residents with barriers to employment.

“We are proud to be Chicago’s partner in delivering a truly transformational project,” said Lou Maltezos, Executive Vice President, Ameresco. “We commend the City of Chicago and its leadership for successfully completing a project that has become a blueprint for future smart lighting implementations. One of the major benefits of the Chicago Smart Lighting Program is, of course, the energy savings which then translates into cost savings, and ultimately a reduction in the city’s carbon footprint.”

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