City Kicks Off LED Streetlight Retrofit

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

City Kicks Off LED Streetlight Retrofit

Posted: 11/16/2017
Flip the SwitchMayor Madeline Rogero “flipped the switch” to illuminate the first streetlight to be replaced with LED technology as part of a comprehensive retrofit of the City’s streetlight system. 

Tonight’s event on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue showcased the installation of the first of approximately 100 demonstration LEDs that will be installed at 17 locations throughout the City in coming weeks. Part of an extensive design process, these “pilot” demonstration installations will help contractor Siemens and City officials determine the best fixtures and bulbs for different locations and street types. 

By retrofitting Knoxville’s nearly 30,000 streetlights to LED technology, the City will save money, reduce energy use, and take a major step toward exceeding its goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020. With anticipated energy and maintenance cost savings of $2 million annually, the investment will pay for itself in less than a decade. 

“Improving visibility at night and exceeding our sustainability goals is a win-win,” Rogero said. “Also, we’re especially pleased that Siemens has hired local subcontractors to perform the bulk of the work.” 

Mayor Compares lightsThe City has contracted with Siemens to perform turn-key design and installation services for the new LED lights, beginning with the current design phase, which will provide opportunities for evaluation by City staff and public stakeholders.

Earlier today, Mayor Rogero met with Marcus Welz, CEO of Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems. 

“These new LED lights will provide residents with better visibility and safer streets, while significantly reducing their energy usage footprint by over 50 percent,” Welz said. “Infrastructure improvements that cities like Knoxville are making are excellent ways to improve quality of life for citizens, save a significant amount in energy costs and meet sustainability goals.”

The pilot installation on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue at Olive Street will be followed in coming weeks by 16 other small-scale LED demonstrations in the following areas:

Mayor Compares lights• Union Avenue near Market Square
• James White Parkway near the Hall of Fame on ramp
• Central Street at Broadway
• Gill Avenue between Gratz and Third streets
• Interstate 40 and Interstate 275 interchange
• Magnolia Avenue between Mary and Beaman streets
• Chilhowee Drive at Asheville Highway
• Chapman Highway at Woodlawn Pike
• Sequoyah Hills at Kenesaw/Keowee avenues
• Lyons View Pike at Northshore Drive
• Middlebrook Pike at Amherst Drive
• Ball Camp Pike at Bradshaw Road
• Texas Avenue between Stonewall and Sherman streets
• Cedar Lane between Parkdale and Lyndell roads
• Broadway between Woodrow Drive and Highland Avenue
• Winston Drive between Kingston Pike and the I-40 overpass

Once the design phase is complete, Siemens expects to begin installation of new lights across the city in 2018. According to the contract terms, all work is expected to be complete by June 30, 2019.

“This project creates multiple benefits for Knoxville,” said Erin Gill, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability, which is managing the project. “Not only will it cut in half the energy use of one of the City’s largest electricity users, it will save money and improve the overall design of our lighting system. Instead of illuminating the sky and trees with an orange glow, we can focus a crisp, clear light on streets and sidewalks to make it easier to see people and objects in the roadway.”

For additional details about the retrofit plan as well as a map of pilot locations, visit