Xcel Energy begins switch to more efficient LED streetlights in Twin Cities metro area

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Xcel Energy begins switch to more efficient LED streetlights in Twin Cities metro area

November 1, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (Nov.1, 2016) – Xcel Energy is bringing the economic, environmental and aesthetic benefits of high-efficiency LED streetlights to its Minnesota communities. The upgrade of more than 600 streetlights in Richfield began this week. Following Richfield, upgrades will begin in Bloomington then Edina.

Richfield is one of the first cities in the Twin Cities metro that will benefit from the conversion, which will take place in nearly 350 Minnesota communities over the next two and a half years. The effort focuses on converting about 90,000 Xcel Energy-owned streetlights from cobra head-style, high pressure sodium fixtures to new, more energy-efficient fixtures using LEDs.

“The installation of LED streetlights in Minnesota is another way Xcel Energy is making investments in technology that improves customer service and our environmental performance,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “Additionally, LED streetlights will help control costs and enhance safety for the communities we serve. “We’re excited to begin installation here in Richfield as we continue to roll out LED lighting across Minnesota.”

Before launching its effort to replace all 300,000 of its company-owned streetlights across all service territories, Xcel Energy conducted a lengthy analysis to develop this program using energy efficiency, engineering and industry experts and standards. This included a thorough review of LED lighting standards and best practices, examining data on the potential energy savings from LED lights; public safety, pedestrian and traffic improvements; neighborhood and community livability issues; and public health impacts.

Xcel Energy also tested the latest LED technology in the field through three pilot projects including one in West St. Paul. The West St. Paul location, with a 537-LED streetlight upgrade in 2013, was the largest project. The results showed a significant reduction in energy use.

LED fixtures use approximately 40-60 percent less electricity than HPS lights and have a longer life, which means less maintenance and fewer replacements. Once conversion is completed, communities can expect to save 4-7 percent on their street lighting bill.

Xcel Energy crews will install LED replacement fixtures for all Xcel Energy-owned HPS cobra head-style streetlights at the 100W, 150W, 250W and 400W equivalent levels. Xcel Energy will pay all costs associated with the retrofits, including removal and salvage of old lights and installation of the new LED fixtures. There are no costs to communities for the streetlight replacements.

Xcel Energy expects to complete the conversion to LEDs in Minnesota in 2018.

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