Public street lighting is accountable for 35% of Tipperary County Council’s energy consumption. Upgrading an old streetlight to a standard LED can reduce energy costs by up to 50%. Currently, 28% of Tipperary’s total public street lighting is LED. Going a step further and installing Smart Lighting can result in even more energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions. As part of the Interreg North-West Europe SMART-SPACE Project, working with 12 partners throughout Europe, Tipperary County Council is piloting smart lighting systems in Thurles, Drangan and Clonoulty. Over the coming months, 600 Smart LED lights will be installed across the 3 pilot sites.
40% of the associated costs are being funded by Tipperary County Council with the remaining 60% being funded by Interreg North-West Europe (EU). SSE Airtricity Utility Solutions were awarded the contract following the tender process and they have commenced the installation of the Smart Lights.
Michael Tierney, Tipperary County Council, Executive Engineer, said “These smart street lights give Tipperary County Council better control over how we manage our street lights. Initially, in some areas, we will pilot interactive lighting where we will have the technology to dim downlighting where there is no public movement detected and light up an area once the system detects pedestrians or cars approaching. In areas like car parks where there is no movement from midnight to 7.00 a.m., energy use could potentially be reduced by 80%. These lights can notify the Council of a fault and give more accurate information on power usage. In other areas such as Liberty Square, Thurles, we plan to pilot a different type of smart light where the light colours can even be changed through an app for special events like St. Patrick’s Day!”.
Liam Brett, Tipperary County Council, Roads Senior Engineer, said “The lighting will be monitored closely after installation and if the evidence proves to be reliable then an informed decision can be made by the council to invest in further smart lighting for the remaining 17,400 street lights in the county. This would further assist us with achieving our target CO2 reduction in Tipperary”.
Siona Daly from the Tipperary Energy Agency said “We expect to see annual energy savings of approximately 150,000kWh, which is the equivalent electricity required to power nineteen homes in a year. Furthermore, if this SMART-SPACE lighting project proves to be a success in Tipperary, it could impact national policy and decision making on public lighting which could be invaluable as the National Public Lighting Retrofit Project starts to gain traction.”
Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Cllr. Marie Murphy said “This pilot scheme, in cooperation with our European partners, shows what can be achieved when we work together for the good of our communities. It has never been so important to reduce energy consumption as it is now in the context of climate change. Tipperary County Council can be a leader and show the way in this important endeavour.”