LD+A Online – In Its Quest to Transform Its Street Lighting, The Windy City Also Found Ways To Create Jobs and Heighten Safety
In 2017, the City of Chicago, acting through its Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS), formally launched the Chicago Smart Lighting Program (CSLP), a four-year project to transform Chicago’s street lighting system by replacing approximately 85% of the city’s existing street and alley lights with smart LED lights. The technology upgrades occurring in Chicago will not only improve safety and reduce light pollution but will also save the city millions in energy costs and mitigate the need for ongoing lighting repairs. The CSLP is one of the largest LED conversion projects in the country and will create the nation’s largest wireless lighting control network.
Plans for the CSLP have been a long time coming. In November 2015, Chicago started the procurement process to select a contractor to lead the light replacement project. After a 19-month vetting process, Ameresco, a clean technology integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, was selected to provide smart-city solutions and upgrade Chicago’s street lighting infrastructure.