The V.I. Water and Power Authority recently completed installation of 180 energy-efficient LED streetlights on St. John and St. Croix. It’s the start of a project that will see 972 streetlights replaced on all three islands by year-end.
WAPA reported in January that 90 had already been replaced on St. Croix, most of those in the Frederiksted town area, and 90 in Cruz Bay, St. John.
The streetlights being replaced consume 200 watts, and the new ones will use only 103 watts, resulting in a 50-percent reduction in energy use.
“We are steadfast in our intention to find new ways to decrease energy usage and save on costs, and we saw an opportunity to capitalize on the benefits that LED light fixtures offer,” Clinton Hedrington Jr., WAPA’s director of Transmission and Distribution, said.
The LED fixtures not only save on energy costs, but lower the environmental impact while maintaining or improving lighting levels and roadway visibilities.
V.I. Energy Office engineering office supervisor Radclyffe Percy said that the new lights cause less light pollution because the beam is “very tight.” And since they use less energy, they have less carbon dioxide emissions.
“And since they last longer, there is less manufacturing and less waste to the landfill,” Percy said.
The project is funded by the V.I. Energy Office using federal stimulus funds.
“This is just one of the many ways the Energy Office is working with government agencies and the people of the Virgin Islands to reach the governor’s goal of reducing our dependency on fossil fuel by 60 percent by 2025,” Energy Office Director Bevan R. Smith Jr. said.
More than 10 companies bid on the job. WAPA selected Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, for the upgrade of 972 streetlights. In developing the project, WAPA engineers hope to achieve a model for energy savings for the authority, as well as for other Caribbean utilities.