RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WRIC) — Virginia is going to replace nearly 10,000 highway lights with LED bulbs that use less energy and increase visibility.
Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday a new contract with Trane to replace more than 9,600 lights on highways, rest areas, and weigh stations. He said the upgrade will result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and save the state $4.6 million by 2036.
“This lighting modernization project will reduce energy use and increase road safety,” Northam said. “It’s an important step forward as we work to make Virginia a leader in clean energy, and I commend VDOT and Trane on their work to improve our roadways, our communities, and our environment.”
The new lights are expected to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent and triple the expected lifetime from five years to 15 or more years. The project is aligned with the clean energy goals Northam laid out in his 2018 Virginia Energy Plan.
Key improvements from the lighting plan include:
- Consuming 11 million fewer kilowatt-hours per year following replacement — enough to power roughly 16,000 refrigerators for a year.
- Resulting in an estimated 8,800-ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improving drivers’ ability to see objects at night, such as pedestrians, animals, and debris.
- Reducing crash risks as fewer light replacements mean fewer roadway work zones.
- Saving taxpayer dollars through energy efficiency and longer product life.
Replacement of the lights is set to begin in spring of 2020.