Chicago-based utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) has completed the installation and upgrade of 131,600 of its streetlights to smart LED fixtures in northern Illinois.
According to the utility, the switch to LED lights will save over 79 GWh of energy per year, which is equivalent to removing 67 million pounds of carbon emissions or planting 37,250 acres of trees.
The Smart LED Streetlight upgrade program, which is part of ComEd’s Energy Efficiency program, took five years to upgrade streetlights in 575 communities across northern Illinois. The company notes that the LED bulbs consume one-third of the electricity and last two-three times longer than the previous high-pressure sodium or metal halide lights, providing better performance at lower operational cost.
“The installation of the new ComEd LED streetlights is a benefit to the whole community,” said Steven Mullany, Mayor of Arlington Heights, one of the communities in the region. “The visible difference is brighter lighting on the roadways and back lighting for our sidewalks. This change will make driving on residential streets and walking on sidewalks safer.”
The new smart LED streetlights are equipped with technology that allows municipalities to remotely and instantaneously adjust the brightness of the lights for energy savings and safety. The devices can also send immediate notifications to alert maintenance personnel if a light requires attention, and first responders can take control of the streetlights during emergency situations.
ComEd says the integration of its AMI mesh network into the control nodes of the streetlights enables the utility to proactively monitor equipment to address outages or other issues in real-time. The company expects its investment of $75 million in smart LED streetlights to result in annual operational savings of $2.6 million.
ComEd is a unit of Exelon, a Chicago-based energy firm with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population.