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    NYPA brings smart street lighting to the State of New York

    New York Power Authority

    New York, USA


    With Interact City IoT lighting software, NYPA is helping New York municipalities convert their street lights to connected LED, cutting energy usage. lowering emissions, and creating a platform for smart city deployments.

    As we implemented Smart Street Lighting NY, we came to understand that these systems are no longer used just to illuminate roads. They are in fact vertical assets that can be utilized for smart city deployment.”

    - Gil Quiniones, President and CEO, NYPA

    Customer challenge


    Smart Street Lighting NY was launched in early 2018 by Governor Andrew Cuomo with an ambition to replace at least half of New York’s more than 1 million street lights with energy-efficient and sustainable alternatives. Through the program, NYPA provides financial, logistical, technical, and informational support to help cities upgrade their street lighting to connected LED. Interact City IoT lighting software gives municipalities the option of leveraging the connected street lighting system to deploy smart solutions citywide.

    A collaboration that serves the public interest

    The collaboration between NYPA and a number of municipalities in New York demonstrates the important role that connected street lighting can play in building smart city infrastructure.


    “As we implemented Smart Street Lighting NY, we came to understand that these systems are no longer used just to illuminate roads. They are in fact vertical assets that can be utilized for smart city deployment. Municipalities can not only save money by adopting connected LED lighting. They also expand the value of their street light systems by integrating them into the IoT,” says Gil Quiniones NYPA president and CEO. 


    NYPA devised an innovative financing model that offers municipalities low-rate loans for lighting conversions, including the option to buy the physical street lighting assets from local utilities. This approach has been a stunning success right out of the gate: with commitments from more than thirty cities to replace 250,000 street lights, the program is almost halfway to its 2025 goal of converting 500,000 street lights across the state. To date, more than 50,000 LED street lights have been installed or are in the process of being installed, saving more than 50 million kWh and $8.5 million in energy costs per year.


    While lighting is only one aspect of a total smart city ecosystem, it can lay the groundwork for citywide connected infrastructure. Once connected street lights are installed and managed with Interact City, a municipality can add sensors to monitor various aspects of the system and environment, improving urban quality of life and management. 

    Abebe Woldemariam, street lighting program coordinator for Rochester, describes some of the benefits of Interact City: “The platform opens up a variety of options for city maintenance and governance. We can now remotely monitor the system via a central dashboard. Should any glitch occur, the system pro-actively prompts managers even before our residents have noticed, and that’s a big plus.” 


    Kathy Sheehan, mayor of Albany, New York, sees the value of connected street lighting extended far beyond illumination—and even beyond the cost savings and sustainability goals that are part of the city’s green vision. “As we looked at the technology and as we saw what was possible, it really became about a social justice and equity issue, because it allows us to do a number of things that are really helpful to our communities,” Sheehan says. 


    Sheehan believes that smart lighting will play a key role in the city’s development. “I wanted to plan for the city of the future,” she says. “We needed to ensure that we’re investing now for generations to come.”

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