The City of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a supplier of LED solid-state lighting components, announced that in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, they will install more than 1000 LED streetlights beginning next month. Ann Arbor plans to become the first U.S. city to convert 100 percent of its downtown streetlights to LED technology.
Ann Arbor will join Raleigh, N.C. and Toronto, in the growing LED City™ initiative. The LED City is an expanding community of government and industry parties working to evaluate, deploy and promote LED lighting technology across the full range of municipal infrastructure to:
* Save energy
* Protect the environment
* Reduce maintenance costs
* Provide better light quality for improved visibility and safety
"This initial installation should save the City more than $100,000 per year and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 294 tons of CO2. Our plan is to retrofit all downtown lights with LED alternatives over the next two years" said Mayor John Hieftje.
The City anticipates a 3.8-year payback on its initial investment. The LED lights typically burn five times longer than the bulbs they replace and require less than half the energy. Each fixture draws 56 watts and is projected to last 10 years, replacing fixtures with bulbs that use more than 120 watts and last only two years.
Full implementation of LEDs is projected to cut Ann Arbor’s public lighting energy use in half and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,425 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road for a year. Detroit Edison, Ann Arbor’s local utility provider, will meter the new LED streetlights with the intent to gather sufficient information to develop new LED-based tariffs.
"This decision is based on three years of extensive research on the energy and maintenance savings associated with LED lighting, citizen surveys and a very successful pilot of 25 LED lights spanning an entire city block," said Mayor John Hieftje.
As a result, the City received a $630,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority to fund retrofits for the downtown lights.