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County LED Streetlight Retrofit Project Receives Two Awards

image of new streetlights.

The Streetlight Retrofit Project, implemented by the Alameda County Public Works Agency, was recently honored for its innovative and economical approach to lowering Alameda County's environmental footprint: nearly 7000 high pressure sodium streetlights throughout unincorporated Alameda County were replaced with energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures.

In April, the Association of Bay Area Governments presented the Public Works Agency with the Growing Smarter Together Award in the category of Preserving and Protecting the Environment. In May, the California Transportation Federation honored the project with the Sustainable/Environmental Enhancement Program of the Year Award.

The Streetlight Retrofit Project generates $180,000 per year of cost savings by saving 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. The LED lights will also reduce the overall lifecycle costs of street lighting, including maintenance, due to their longer lifespan. In addition, they do not use mercury, lead, and other hazardous materials. Immediately benefitting the community, the LED lights have improved night visibility.

The replacement was done in record time and funded with a low-interest ARRA loan from the California Energy Commission. This project also contributed to the Board of Supervisors' local business goals with 70 percent of the project completed by small and local subcontractors.