The City of Gillette aims to be “Clean and Green” and converts traditional streetlights to Cree® LEDway® lights.
City of Gillette
Located in Northeast Wyoming, the City of Gillette is mainly recognized for producing one third of the coal shipped to power plants across the nation. The City’s power plants, oil reserves, natural gas production, and soaring coal industry have given Gillette the nickname “Energy Capital of the Nation.”
Revenues from natural resources provide significant funding for various citywide initiatives including pursuing and meeting sustainability goals. As part of the initiative, the City is currently working on a list of special projects aimed at creating a “Clean and Green” Gillette. In addition to recycling, water management, and waste reduction, converting traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights to LED throughout the City helps meet energy-efficiency goals.
The idea to retrofit traditional streetlights to more energy-efficient technology came about when the City studied energy savings from replacing conventional traffic signals to LED lights and found the savings to be significant. “Energy savings and efficiency were motivators for our LED streetlight installation. Another motivator was to bring new ideas and innovation to the Cowboy State,” said Michael Foote, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Gillette.
Using funds from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) through the Department of Energy, the City implemented the first phase of the project by replacing 77 streetlights and 20 wall packs at its utility building using Cree® products. In phase two, the City installed 65 LEDway® streetlights to replace 400-watt HPS systems along the main highway. “We are showing that they work and that’s where the traction starts happening. We have a new highway going in and we’re putting LEDs in the budget,” said Foote.
The NanoOptic® technology directs the light into the designated target area, preserving Wyoming’s beautiful night sky. “After the installation, we received little to no feedback from residents about the change in lighting,” said Foote. “We are showing that a small community can successfully implement a streetlighting program that works. It’s our goal to become a resource for surrounding communities who are looking to implement similar projects.”