Solar street light manufacturer Fonroche Lighting has received a contract to install solar street lights in the commune of Agen in France by 2026.
Communes are a French designation akin to civil townships. The solar street light deployment in Agen will cost about 11 million Euros and is considered the largest such project in Europe, according to the release.
Under the agreement, 7,000 outdated lights will be replaced with more efficient, solar-powered ones. The cost-effective move is expected to save Agen between €600,000 and €750,000 annually.
“Agen is the first region to switch so massively to photovoltaics,” Jean Dionis du Séjour, President of Agen said. “The investment is heavy, but the profitability is fast.”
Fonroche Lighting, which is based in Roquefort in the inner suburbs of Agen, employs around 200 people worldwide. According to the company, communities can save on electricity bills by investing in solar lighting.
“The price of a commercial solar lighting system is higher than a traditional streetlight,” Fonroche’s General Manager Laurent Lubrano said. “But there is no additional cost: no electric bill, no trenching, no copper wiring, and no electric grid. With avoided installation costs, the return on investment is immediate. Plus, there is no maintenance for 10 years.”
The city of Albuquerque in New Mexico utilized the savings from a citywide conversion to energy efficient LED lighting to fund more than 200 solar-powered LED street lights supplied by Fonroche Lighting America. Floyd County in Indiana and Marana in Arizona have also signed on to solar lighting projects.