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US and UK cities double-down on smart-city lights and lighting controls

Two new announcements this week, by cities both sides of the the Atlantic, make clear, again, the case for smart street-lighting is undeniable.

In the US, the city of Syracuse in New York State has teamed with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to deploy intelligent lighting controls on 17,500 new streetlights throughout the city. Syracuse has selected solution provider CIMCON, along with tech vendors Presidio and Cisco, to implement the new streetlight infrastructure.

Purchased with NYPA, the new streetlights will deliver more than $3 million in annual savings through maintenance and energy efficiencies. They will bring the city closer to fiscal sustainability, the city said. In addition, they will provide better quality light, reduce the need for citizens to report outages, and improve lighting for the city’s first responders.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Sandwell Council in the West Midlands has appointed UK stalwart Telensa to overhaul its street lighting infrastructure, with 11,000 lights slated to be upgraded by 2022. The appointment is part of the region’s 2030 Vision Initiative.

The Council plans to install nearly 4,000 lights by 2020, with the intention to increase this to over 11,000 by 2022, which will be wirelessly connected and managed using Telensa’s PLANet system. The council is also converting all of its streetlights to LEDs as part of the upgrade.

The Sandwell project is backed by Salix Finance, a government-bacled fund providing interest-free loans to the UK public sector to help tackle climate change. The investment is expected to pay for itself within seven years.

Salix has provided over £190 million of interest-free funding towards street lighting upgrades with 81 local authorities in England, and those projects are expected to deliver annual savings of over £36 million and 130,000 tonnes of carbon.

The various protagonists in the twin projects chimed in with the same comments, emphasising innovation and sustainability.

Ben Walsh, mayor of Syracuse, said: “This smart investment immediately helps us achieve our vision of creating a growing city that embraces diversity and creates opportunity for all. The partnership with CIMCON, Presidio, and Cisco will advance our economy and create opportunity for all of our residents, helping Syracuse surge forward as the flagship smart city in New York State.”

Amy Harhoff, director of regeneration and growth at Sandwell Council, said: “Our 2030 Vision project seeks to inspire our residents by creating a local atmosphere in which they can say they’re proud to be from Sandwell. We are excited to workwith Telensa on a project that will reduce the Council’s carbon footprint and provide crucial financial savings.”

Anil Agrawal, chief executive at CIMCON, said: “We look forward to working with the city to leverage new smart city technologies that will provide immediate value, while supporting the development of a safer, more secure and environmentally friendly living experience.”

Will Gibson, founder and chief commercial officer at Telensa, said: “This deployment further expands our presence in the West Midlands where a true commitment is being shown to the promise of smart city technologies by forward-looking Councils who are now reaping the economic and efficiency benefits that they can provide.”
 

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