Turlock is an inland city of 70,000 people located in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley. In 2010, the city was experiencing increased maintenance and rising energy costs in connection with the ongoing management of Turlock’s outdated street lighting network. While, in past years, Turlock’s street lighting improvements were funded as part of state transportation initiatives, the city was facing new financial hurdles with the potential re-deployment of state transit assistance. As a result, city managers were looking for immediate new steps to determine ways to lower annual operating costs related to street lighting upgrades and maintenance.
Background and Execution:
A municipal audit determined that the existing outdated technology consisting of high-intensity discharge (HID) street lights could be replaced with state of the art induction lighting to achieve dramatic electricity cost reductions (an estimated savings of 959,000 kWh, amounting to at least $111,000 annually in energy costs). The audit also determined that, by switching to the induction platform, Turlock could capture additional savings by lowering maintenance costs, which currently were totaling $25,000 per year. HID lighting typically requires more frequent maintenance and re-lamping.
Following Turlock’s municipal audit, the California Energy Commission provided the backing for a $766,000 municipal loan to retrofit and upgrade the city’s streetlights – an amount that, based on anticipated energy savings, will be recouped in less than seven years. Republic ITS, a division of Siemens Corporation, was selected to spearhead the overall street re-lamping project and they, in turn, commissioned US Lighting Tech to provide the hardware necessary for retrofitting and installing 3,600 Cobra 100 Series Induction Streetlights.
Specific Challenges and Solutions:
Because of Turlock’s semi-arid Central California geographical location, the summer temperatures can exceed 100 degree. Alternately, the cold, wet winters can drop into the sub-20 degree range. Due to these weather fluctuations, lamp durability and resilience for the Turlock installation were particularly important. Accordingly, they choose to go with USLT’s products because of their superior thermal management capabilities and features.
Since the installation project began in 2010, Turlock has already cut its municipal lighting bill in half and is currently producing significant savings for taxpayers as a result of the switch to USLT induction. Additionally, the new USLT induction street lights will provide a far more effective and durable solution to withstand Turlock’s temperature extremes – ensuring a long, lamp life and significant maintenance savings for the city.