Power company Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), Chicago, has begun a pilot program to deploy a smart, energy-efficient LED streetlighting system in two Chicago suburbs, Bensenville and Lombard.
ComEd is replacing approximately 800 ComEd-owned luminaires in Bensenville and Lombard combined, and hooking them into a wireless communications network ComEd installed as part of its smart grid investments to allow for two-way communication with grid operators, the company said in a release.
“The smart streetlight application is only one of many capabilities offered by our smart grid technology. This technology has the ability to be paired with other applications that would help improve safety, security and quality of life for the communities we serve,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. “Connecting streetlights to our smart grid allows communities to remotely and instantaneously dim lights for energy savings and brighten them for greater safety. They can also be controlled on-demand by first responders to better manage emergency situations.”
Via a web portal, municipalities will be able to control the dimming and daily scheduling of the luminaires, and receive immediate notification if a lamp is in need of maintenance. Additionally, control can be given to first responders to manage streetlights on-demand during emergency situations.
The LED streetlights are also equipped with a digital node that keeps precise track of each luminaires’s energy usage. This could eventually allow the utility to bill for the actual energy used by the streetlights, rather than charging a calculated flat rate, as is typical in municipalities across the nation. Four years after installing similar luminaires, the city of Los Angeles shaved more than 63% off its electricity bill and crime decreased in areas where LEDs were installed.
ComEd and municipal leaders will review the pilot results to develop plans for a broader smart streetlight service offering ComEd will initiate in June.
ComEd serves approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, including 70% of the state’s population.