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.