Xcel Energy Replacing Streetlights in 8 States

October 20, 2015 By Carl Weinschenk

Energy Manage XcelXcel Energy is replacing streetlights in the eight states it serves. The project will take five years and cost $100 million, according to a story at EnergyBiz that originally posted at The StarTribune.

The first stop is Minnesota, where it will switch all of its 100,000 existing lights with LEDs. The story says that the installation costs can be offset by energy and maintenance savings. Xcel expects to save 3.6 percent to 6.6 percent — $3,000 to $5,000 – in a modest size city. About 30 Minnesota cities, including Minneapolis, have discussed the change with the Xcel.

One method of implementing the program is to have crews switch in LEDs when existing lights fail. Xcel also is active in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Last month, Xcel Energy said that it will refund $18.6 million to its Texas customers. The refunds were made possible by lower natural gas prices and cheaper imports into the Panhandle and South Plains region.

5 comments on “Xcel Energy Replacing Streetlights in 8 States

  1. LED lighting is all well and good but it would make more sense to replace it with solar powered streetlights as savings on energy alone would pay for the added installation costs. And you wouldn’t have to worry about streetlights not working in the event of a widespread power outage.

    • Enviro-Equipment: While the desire to eliminate the need to use grid power for their roadway lighting is admirable it seems a bit half-baked. Xcel is planning on benefitting from some maintenance savings and the installation of solar powered roadway lighting would only add to their maintenance needs through the introduction of potentially as many as 100,000 batteries, charge controllers, PV panels, etc. to the mix.

  2. Solar lighting…how many hours will the battery pack last? In very cold temps, would the hrs of support be reduced? When displacing existing infrastructure conductors with solar support, why not keep the light connected to the existing infrastructure…And at 5 times the price of connecting to the grid, how does the Customer benefit?

  3. Advantages of Solar Powered Street Lights:
     Provides an element of “green” design to the City’s infrastructure.
     Reduced energy consumption costs.
     Underground conduit/wiring installation is not required.
     A meter control cabinet is not required.
    Disadvantages of Solar Powered Street Lights:
     The application of this technology to the street lighting market is still fairly new
    and as a result, the initial equipment costs are relatively high.
     Under the best operating conditions, the light output (lumens) of the solar
    powered street light assembly package is about one-half (8,650 lumens) the
    amount of light output of the specified wired design (16,600 lumens) for the
    specified lights. The quantity of solar powered street lights to be purchased will
    need to be increased to achieve similar lighting levels as the wired design.
     The batteries in the solar power unit have a limited service life and require
    periodic replacement.
     There may be days when weather conditions do not allow for a full re-charge of
    the batteries. The solar powered street lights may be dim or completely off
    during night-time hours on those days.
    Benefit-Cost Analysis: Who will pay for the 40% increase in costs?

Leave a reply


*