PSC approves streetlight sales

Enterprise file photo — H. Rose Schneider

A streetlight outside of the Knox town park shines bright from an LED bulb installed in it.

ALBANY COUNTY — On Thursday, the New York State Public Service Commission approved Voorheesville’s request to buy 313 streetlights in the village from National Grid for $136,994.

Similarly, Albany County is paying National Grid $151,695 for 98 streetlights and the town of Colonie is paying $2.1 million to National Grid for 3,987 streetlights.

Altogether, seven requests from upstate municipalities, totaling $7.5 million, were approved by the commission on Sept. 9.

With the change in ownership, the municipalities can control street-lighting and install their own energy-efficient lights to lower costs to taxpayers and protect the environment, said a release from the commission. For an average municipality, streetlights may account for up to 40 percent of total local government electric energy consumption.

In 2015, the Public Service Law was amended to establish procedures to facilitate the transfer of ownership of complete street-lighting systems to municipalities or other government entities. Including the Sept. 9 decisions, the commission has approved the sale of over 84,734 streetlights to 51 municipalities. The total value of these streetlights is more than $56.8 million.

Energy efficiency lights, known as LEDs or light-emitting diodes, use significantly less energy than traditional street-lighting. The adoption of LED-lighting can save municipalities up to 65 percent of electricity costs for street-lighting, the commission says.

If all of the State’s streetlights were converted to LEDs, the commission says, the energy savings potential is estimated to be enough electricity for 75,000 average-sized houses. Financial savings could be as great as $28 million per year.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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