Lincoln finalizing LED streetlight package

Lincoln finalizing LED streetlight package

LINCOLN – Lincoln will be one of the last communities in the state to begin changing each of its streetlights into energy-efficient LED lights as town officials have been reviewing a menu of options to guide its streetlight turnover.

Town Administrator Joseph Almond said converting from traditional high-pressure sodium lights to LEDs would reduce the town’s electricity bill after the initial installment, saving millions in the long run.

Rhode Island communities were granted permission to purchase and maintain their own street lights in 2014.

Replacing the lights has been on Lincoln’s to-do list for the last several years, but Almond has been cautious about committing to a certain plan.

He said one reason Lincoln took longer than other towns to begin their LED streetlight conversion is that they were waiting to see how certain legal battles in neighboring communities would unfold. In Johnston, Mayor Joseph Polisena reached an agreement with National Grid, which determined the town did not have to pay to light state roads.

Almond said this precedent would be beneficial to Lincoln, where state roads make up roughly 66 percent of the town’s National Grid bill. When the conversion is finalized, Lincoln will only pay to light town-owned roads.

Lincoln teamed up with Woonsocket and Smithfield earlier this year, putting out a request for proposals for the LED conversion. Almond said the communities are currently reviewing a menu of offerings to select their plans.

“The bid includes many options for what we might want to do, especially for technology,” he said. Once they decide on a final package, the town will receive a savings estimate.

“We’ll have to look at our annual budget then. We do not have a final purchase plan in place yet,” he said.