Oregon DOT, Ameresco complete $18.6M pilot replacing 8,000 streetlights in Portland region

Feb. 8, 2022
The new LED streetlights have a color temperature of 3,000-4,000 Kelvin and use 50 percent less energy than traditional highway lighting fixtures. The efficiency lighting should reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 3,500 metric tons annually

Ameresco has completed a pilot program to replace 8,000 high-pressure sodium outdoor lighting fixtures with light emitting diode (LED) streetlights.

The Oregon Department of Transportation spearheaded the $18.6 million projectd to convert the streetlights to LEDs across the greater Portland area. Contractor Ameresco also upgraded lighting in 13 tunnels within the ODOT Region 1, which includes the Clackamas, Hood River, Multnoham and the Metro interstate bridges.

The new LED streetlights have a color temperature of 3,000 to 4,000 Kelvin and use 50 percent less energy than the traditional highway and tunnel lighting fixtures. The efficiency lighting should reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 3,500 metric tons annually, according to the release.

Ameresco says the new LEDs won’t need to be replaced for another 15-20 years, compared with 2-4 years for the high-pressure lights. ODOT officials are happy they won’t have to worry about that for a while after this pilot project.

“We couldn’t have foreseen all of the challenges but, thanks to Ameresco, we successfully navigated hurdles as they came and the project was delivered in a seamless and smooth manner,” Elizabeth Papadopoulos, ODOT consultant project manager, said in a statement.

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Ameresco worked collaboratively with ODOT to develop a plan that minimized public traffic and safety concerns while adhering to ODOT directed design standards. The Ameresco team also worked in coordination with the major freight stakeholder on the project, Mobility Advisor Committee, to successfully complete the streetlight conversion project within the construction term.

Construction began in May 2020.

About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.