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Syracuse completes $16M project to install "energy-saving" streetlights

By Eric Reinhardt (


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The City of Syracuse has finished the installation of “energy-saving,” LED (light emitting diode) streetlights throughout the city as part of the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Smart Street Lighting NY program.

Syracuse — through a partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) — replaced all of its streetlights with the “most comprehensive set of innovative Smart City technologies in the state,” Cuomo’s office said in a news release.

The effort will save the city $3.3 million annually and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly 8,500 tons a year — “the equivalent of taking more than 1,660 cars off the road,” Cuomo’s office said.

The state says the City of Syracuse has finished work on a $16 million project that involved changing the city’s streetlights to LED (light emitting diode) fixtures. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says the new lights and lower maintenance costs will save the City about $3 million per year, per a July 3, 2019 news release announcing the project. (File photo credit: City of Syracuse Twitter page)

“As we move further into the 21st century, it’s critical we make the investments necessary for building smarter, more sustainable communities and that’s exactly what we are doing in Syracuse,” Cuomo said. "Not only is the Smart Street Lighting NY program reducing the city’s carbon footprint, but millions of taxpayer dollars will be saved thanks to a reduction in utility costs. Climate change is not going away and it is these types of smart, forward-thinking programs which will help communities build towards the future.”

The more than $16 million initiative, implemented by NYPA, includes the replacement of about 17,500 streetlights throughout the city with “Smart, LED fixtures, improving lighting quality and neighborhood safety while saving energy and maintenance costs.” The city’s streetlights are now outfitted with Smart controls that provide programmed dimming ability, energy metering, fault monitoring, and additional tools for emergency services through on-demand lighting levels.

NYPA provided Syracuse with a $500,000 Smart Cities grant for the project. The city used the additional funding to support special features on the streetlights that “demonstrate the latest in Smart City technologies,” focused on digital connectivity, environmental monitoring, and public safety.

The state expects those features will be “fully implemented” in early 2021.

“Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority have helped power Syracuse to the front of the pack of cities in the U.S., leveraging Smart LED lighting to save money and make life better for our residents,” Walsh said. “Because of our progress, even in the midst of a global pandemic, the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy, continues to move forward. Syracuse and all of New York State are well positioned to lead the nation and the world because of NYPA’s support and the governor’s leadership.”

New York has now replaced more than 100,000 of its streetlights with LED fixtures, a “significant” milestone in Cuomo’s goal to replace at least 500,000 streetlights with LED technology by 2025 under Smart Street Lighting NY.

The announcement “directly supports” the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, the “most aggressive” climate-change law in the nation, through the increased use of energy efficiency to “annually reduce electricity demand by three percent — equivalent to 1.8 million New York households — by 2025,” per Cuomo’s office.

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