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Commonwealth's Counties

LEDs to light the way ahead for Virginia’s highways

Governor Northam announced this week that his plan for a brighter future in Virginia will include major lighting improvements across Virginia’s roadways.

Beginning in 2020, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will partner with Trane to replace nearly 10,000 highway lights with light-emitting diode (LED) products. This large-scale project will include “lights located on limited-access highways and associated interchanges, as well as VDOT-owned park-and-ride lots, rest areas, and weigh stations in the Richmond, Fredericksburg, Hampton Roads, and Northern Virginia districts.”

This switch to LEDs will not only brighten and improve visibility on roadways, but it will also conserve energy and save money. According to the Governor’s office, the new LED lighting will reduce energy consumption by over 50%, and the life of the products will be tripled, from 5 years to 15+ years. 11 million fewer kilowatt-hours will be used per year, resulting in an estimated 8,800-ton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. All in all, the net savings from this project are estimated to reach $4.6 million by 2036.

The project will be funded using an energy performance contract (EPC), which allows VDOT to finance infrastructure improvements using future energy and cost savings. Work replacing the light fixtures is expected to begin sometime in the spring of next year.

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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