SA makes rapid headway on streetlight conversion

Power poles along main road (Spark Infrastructure)

SA Power Networks is making rapid headway in converting South Australia’s street lighting to energy efficient LEDs.

About 40 per cent of the more than 200,000 streetlights managed by SA Power Networks have been converted to LEDs amid a massive changeover agreed with many councils across the state.  

With each new LED that is installed, a council cuts energy costs and greenhouse emissions by up to 80 per cent.  

“SA Power Networks already has installed about 82,000 LED lights for councils in South Australia at an estimated value of more than $30 million,” said SA Power Networks corporate affairs manager Paul Roberts. 

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“SA Power Networks has provided the up-front capital for about half of these upgrades and will recover that and ongoing maintenance costs over time through tariffs agreed with the participating councils.” 

Councils involved in the changeover include: Burnside, Campbelltown, Charles Sturt, Holdfast Bay Marion, Mitcham, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Onkaparinga, Playford, Unley and Walkerville in the metropolitan area; and regional councils including Adelaide Hills, Elliston, Goyder, Kingston South East, Light Regional, Port Augusta, Streaky Bay, Tumby Bay, Wudinna and Victor Harbor.  

For more than a year now, SA Power Networks has been working closely with the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Public Lighting Working Group (PLWG) it chairs, to endorse the tariff agreements that support large-scale LED street light upgrades. It is continuing work with the PLWG to transition these agreements into the 2020-2025 regulatory period starting July 1, 2020. 

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SA Power Networks also has its eye on other exciting initiatives as councils try to make our cities ‘smarter’. 

“We have initiated two smart lighting pilot projects, one in Victor Harbor and the other at Christies Beach, with the City of Onkaparinga, so we can understand the social, economic and operational benefits of this technology,” Mr Roberts said.

“Smart street lighting with smart controls potentially can facilitate extra energy savings for councils, allowing lights to dim when streets are unused. For us, remote monitoring means failures are reported automatically, allowing faster maintenance and reducing operational costs with long-term benefit for customers.”

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