The city of Rio Rancho began a project in August to convert street lights to LED lighting.

The project will run through November and will see 1,207 city-owned street lights get converted to LED lighting units that include a remote monitoring system.

Dalkia Energy Solutions, the city’s vendor, will install, upgrade and maintain the new LED lighting that provide benefits such as energy-efficiency and cost savings over time.

The LED conversion of the street lights is expected to take approximately three months to complete.

Through the Services Phase of this project, Dalkia will maintain the upgraded street lights for 15 years at an annual fee of approximately $62,000, via a Key Performance Indicator-based framework.

The approximate 2,300 remaining city-owned street lights not included in this project will continue to be maintained by PNM. These street lights could be upgraded to LED and maintained by Dalkia through future project phases with additional funding.

According to Dalkia: “There are many benefits to this investment. Because LED luminaires use dramatically less energy, the on-bill electricity savings will pay for this initiative, over approximately 10 years. In addition to the energy savings, all new LED luminaires will be fitted with Smart Nodes for remote monitoring for outages. Further, operational efficiencies will be created within the Public Works Department at the City, as existing personnel will dedicate more time to traffic signal maintenance and other duties. Finally, Dalkia is bound to Key Performance Indicators such as maximum outage rate and minimum response time, which means the City is guaranteed an extremely high-level of service.”

According to Dalkia, the current high-pressure sodium street lights are outdated, leading to problems, including:

  • High failure rate
  • Consumes enormous kWh annually compared to new technology
  • Little or no shielding, allowing light to spill upward into the night sky and into homes
  • Long delays and unreliable repairs

The new LED street lighting system will provide many benefits, including:

  • Extremely low failure rate with a four-times longer life span
  • Saves more than 1 million kWh annually
  • Strong, reliable maintenance with a maximum of five days for repair
  • Smart technology allows for automatic outage reporting
  • Full cutoff fixtures guarantee zero uplight, with additional shielding options available
  • Safety improvements with more consistent, higher-quality lighting
  • Light shining only on streets and sidewalks, reducing sky glow