Additional communities throughout Northern New York are looking to save money and reduce their energy usage thanks to a state program.

Smart Street Lighting NY is administered through the New York Power Authority. It helps municipalities finance projects to replace conventional street lamps with light-emitting diode fixtures.

“Villages and towns in Lewis and Jefferson counties are starting to glow more brightly with the installation of LED street lights purchased through the state’s Smart Street Lighting NY program. Installation began in Carthage in December, while two crews each consisting of two red trucks have moved on to the village of Croghan and Wilna,” according to a story published Saturday by the Watertown Daily Times. “The crews will then head to Martinsburg, West Carthage and the other seven participating communities — the towns of Adams and Denmark and the villages of Lowville, Adams, West Carthage, Sackets Harbor and Deferiet. Decorative LED lights ordered by Carthage and Lowville for their downtown areas will be installed at a later date. Unlike other programs that simply replace regular street light bulbs with LEDs, the smart lighting program offers towns and villages technology known as asset management nodes installed on each fixture and making it possible for the brightness of each light to be controlled remotely and put on timers either individually, in groups or as a whole system. The nodes will also detect any function issues that may arise and notify the municipality and the service company.”

Norwood opted in 2019 to replace 173 streetlight fixtures through the program. Village officials estimated they would save more than $28,000 a year by switching to LED.

Information about Smart Street Lighting NY on NYPA’s website states: “By converting existing streetlight systems to energy-efficient LED, municipalities are able to save taxpayer dollars, provide better lighting to their community, reduce energy use and subsequently decrease a community’s impact on the environment. Benefits of this service to municipalities: Customer has one point of contact throughout all phases of the project; full turnkey service, including: lighting audit; engineering and design; bidding and procurement; construction management; and environmental services; NYPA provides low-rate financing for qualified customers, including the option to finance the purchase of the system as part of the project; municipality is able to realize both energy and maintenance savings; option to bundle your streetlight conversion project with other energy efficiency projects.”

State authorities want to replace at least 500,000 streetlights by 2025. In September, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that New York is more than halfway toward its goal.

“A grant through the state Local Government Efficiency program designed to support projects targeting ‘shared opportunities, cost savings, and delivery of efficient, quality services’ across municipalities paid for the management nodes. The LED light fixtures, wiring and installation will be bought back from National Grid over time through long-term, zero interest bonds. Seven of the municipalities have also opted to install ‘smart city technology’ offered through the program for security cameras and WiFi access,” the article reported. Those locations include Wilna and the villages of Adams, Carthage, West Carthage, Deferiet, Sackets Harbor and Copenhagen. Because of the availability of two different grants for the smart sensors, municipalities could have $60,000 worth of the technology for a $20,000 investment, according to Circuit Rider Mickey Dietrich with the Tug Hill Commission’s River Area Council of Governments ...”

The LED fixtures will provide better lighting, reduce energy usage and cut expenses. This sensible plan is demonstrating the benefits it offers.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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