The City of Rockville was recently selected to receive $449,750 for light-emitting diode streetlight conversion, as part of the Maryland Energy Administration’s new Streetlight and Outdoor Lighting Efficiency Pilot Grant Program.
The SOLE Pilot Grant Program selected 11 awardees, comprising local governments and school districts, to receive grants totaling over $1.6 million for upgrades to streetlights and other pole-mounted outdoor lighting fixtures.
The city plans to use the funds as part of the first phase of the LED Streetlight Conversion Capital Improvements Program, under which about 1,800 city-owned and maintained streetlights will be converted. The lights included in Phase 1 are of the more common, less decorative types on metal poles, allowing the city to maximize the benefits of conversion from the start. They are located throughout the city but are predominantly on the city’s west side.
A grant agreement is expected to be presented to the Mayor and Council for approval this fall.
The SOLE grants defray the cost to acquire and install clean, cost-saving LED fixtures and controls. They are anticipated to result in the replacement of nearly 6,000 inefficient fixtures statewide with highly energy-efficient alternatives.
The SOLE Pilot Grant program stemmed from “LED Streetlight Conversions in Maryland & Virginia: Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies in 2020,” a study and report funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant and conducted with partners that included Clean Energy Solutions Inc., the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
“These advanced fixtures can reduce electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 70% while improving light quality,” MEA Director Mary Beth Tung said in a news release announcing the awards. “Efficient street and outdoor lighting improvements are one of the most valuable energy efficiency measures – and most beneficial in terms of community aesthetics – that a local government or organization can undertake.”