Australia’s largest smart street lighting upgrade

LED street lights light up tree-lined street (street lighting)

Ausgrid, along with the Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and up to 33 local councils, are set to partner to deliver what could be the largest and most advanced smart street lighting upgrade in Australia.  

The partnership deal could see more than 92,000 streetlights upgraded with energy efficient LEDs and smart controls over the next three years. 

The majority of the lights to be upgraded are on main roads across metro Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter with 25 councils having already agreed in principle to the deal.  

Related article: Ausgrid to create digital twin of entire network

The program adds smart controls to the lights on main roads to help detect faults, optimise maintenance, measure energy use, and facilitate off-peak dimming in the future. The lights would also be able to accommodate future smart city sensors. 

Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross said the upgrade would provide major energy savings which will significantly contribute towards Australia’s net zero target. 

“This project will deliver safer, more affordable, more reliable and more sustainable outcomes for our shared customers and community,” Gross said.  

“Ausgrid has already upgraded around 130,000 residential streetlights to LEDs and expects to complete a further 20,000 in the next few months. Once the main road program is complete by 2024 almost a quarter of a million streetlights will have been replaced. 

“Councils can expect average energy savings of 56 per cent annually and total reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 34,000 tCO2-e per year from this latest Ausgrid proposal.” 

SSROC President and Burwood Mayor Cr John Faker said total costs for councils will reduce by around $3 million per year thanks to the significant energy and maintenance savings. 

“The new lights will deliver better quality street lighting, make our roads safer, dramatically cut energy consumption and save our communities money,” Cr Faker said. 

“If supported by councils, this deal will be a big win for councils, the community and the environment. It’s also another excellent example of what can be achieved when councils work together across the region.” 

SSROC CEO Helen Sloan said the project would be a quantum shift in the lighting of main roads. 

“We’ll be moving from lights that were developed in the middle of the last century to ones that are at the leading edge,” Sloan said. 

Related article: Councils join to lobby government on climate action

“These new lights provide better lighting with smart controls enabling even lower energy consumption, and ports for future Smart City sensors, to help councils to deliver community services.” 

The global lighting industry has recently agreed on a common approach to how lights are to be built to accommodate smart city sensors which is called Zhaga.  

The kinds of sensors that councils are showing interest in would deliver better traffic and pedestrian counts, monitor the environment for pollutants and detect high noise levels. 

Previous articleAGL said no to a $5b takeover bid, but it isn’t over yet
Next articleHydrogen FCEV service station planned for Geelong