The city’s power utility proposes that two-thirds of street lights be replaced as part of city hall’s ongoing efforts to become more energy efficient.
The price of substituting all the fixtures with LED (light-emitting diode) replacements in Saskatoon is estimated at more than $13 million, but a Saskatoon Light and Power report suggests taking aim at 66 per cent of street lights with the help of federal funding.
The report proposes replacing the 17,836 fixtures in all cobra-head style street lights located in residential neighbourhoods, commercial areas and along major streets. That’s expected to cost more than $6.1 million.
“These non-decorative fixtures provide the biggest benefit both from an economic and environmental perspective,” the report says.
The report points out LED replacement of street lights is one of the goals of the city’s wide-ranging preliminary low-emissions community plan to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced in Saskatoon.
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The cost of replacing the more than 17,800 street lights, which are currently high-pressure sodium fixtures, would be paid for, in part, by $2.4 million in federal funding. The federal money, which was confirmed in June, would cover up to 40 per cent of the cost.
The remaining $3.7 million would be covered by a green loan that would be paid back by cost savings, which are estimated at $849,000 a year once all the fixtures are replaced. Future savings would go into a reserve fund to pay for future infrastructure.
Replacing the street lights is expected to result in the reduction of 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide or the equivalent of removing 1,200 vehicles from the road, the report says.
Saskatoon embarked on LED replacement in 2010 with a pilot project in the Evergreen neighbourhood. In 2013, LED became the standard for all new neighbourhoods and roads in Saskatoon.
The city has also started to substitute LED whenever fixtures needs replacing, which has resulted in 3,950 LED replacements (or 14 per cent of all lights) by the end of last year.
The 20 per cent of lights that are not addressed by this plan (5,286 fixtures) include decorative lights downtown, lights along Circle Drive, in pedestrian tunnels, under overpasses and floodlights.
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