ComEd Takes Step Toward Smarter, Greener Energy Future with LED Streelights Pilot

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Posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 5:57 am

CHICAGO, Ill. -- ComEd announced that it has begun a pilot program to deploy smart, energy-efficient LED streetlights in two Chicago suburbs, Bensenville and Lombard. Through this pilot, ComEd is replacing approximately 800 ComEd-owned fixtures in Bensenville and Lombard combined.

The smart streetlights use the communications network ComEd installed as part of its smart grid investments. Like smart meters, the energy efficient street lights tap into a wireless network that allows for two-way communication with grid operators.

“The smart streetlight application is only one of many capabilities offered by our smart grid technology. This technology has the ability to be paired with other applications that would help improve safety, security and quality of life for the communities we serve,” said Anne Pramaggiore, President and CEO of ComEd. “Connecting streetlights to our smart grid allows communities to remotely and instantaneously dim lights for energy savings and brighten them for greater safety. They can also be controlled on-demand by first responders to better manage emergency situations.”

Via a web portal, municipalities will be able to control the dimming and daily scheduling of the lights, and receive immediate notification if a lamp is in need of maintenance. Additionally, control can be given to first responders to manage streetlights on-demand during emergency situations.

The LED streetlights, which consume as little as one-third of the energy, last up to one and a half times as long and offer better quality of light compared with the fixtures they replace. These fixtures are also equipped with a digital node that keeps precise track of each light fixture’s energy usage. This could eventually allow the utility to bill for the actual energy used by the streetlights, rather than charging a calculated flat rate, as is typical in municipalities across the nation. Four years after installing similar lights, the city of Los Angeles shaved more than 63 percent off its electricity bill and crime decreased in areas where LEDs were installed.

“Lombard is excited to be participating with ComEd in the pilot of these innovative streetlights,” said Carl Goldsmith, Director of Public Works, Lombard. “While the operational efficiencies and cost savings of the LED lights will be of great benefit, most importantly, they improve the safety and security of the people of Lombard.”

ComEd and municipal leaders will review the pilot results to capture benefits gained through the smart streetlight technology, and to develop plans for a broader smart streetlight service offering ComEd will initiate in June as part of its energy efficiency portfolio.

Like its SmartGridExchange program, a collaboration between ComEd, technology companies, universities and customers to spur innovation, ComEd’s smart streetlight program is expanding the foundational technology of the smart grid and bringing innovation to customers.

“The evolution of our grid presents the need and opportunity for us to engage our communities in new and meaningful ways,” said Pramaggiore. “Smart cities technologies present opportunities for cities to realize new efficiencies and cost savings by leveraging the smart grid communications network. The smart grid ultimately promotes livable, workable and sustainable communities. ”


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