Future Cities Are Now ‘Smart Cities’
National Grid and the City of Schenectady have received approval from the New York Department of Public Service to proceed with a joint initiative that will transform the municipality into a “smart city” by deploying advance street lighting technology.
Under the new Smart City REV Demonstration Project, National Grid will use its existing LED Conversion program to replace approximately 4,200 company-owned streetlights with advanced LED lights that will be retrofitted with controls and smart city technologies. The upgrades will make the city more efficient and the technology attached to the streetlights will improve asset management capabilities by enabling real-time data analytics and lighting controls. This project, along with the newly announced statewide Smart Street Lighting NY Program, will support municipalities’ efforts to reduce energy consumption, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“National Grid is proud to partner with the City of Schenectady on this innovative REV demonstration project,” said Laurie Poltynski, National Grid’s eastern New York regional executive. “This project will develop and test multiple innovative business models that could serve as scalable solutions for other cities and towns across our service area.”
The demonstration project will allow National Grid to test the impact of energy savings from remotely operating a large-scale LED conversion project. Additionally, the project will provide important learnings on whether enhanced street lighting infrastructure can provide additional pricing options that allow municipalities to maximize streetlight infrastructure for services other than lighting.
The project was conceptualized in partnership with Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, who appointed a Smart City Commission to help drive how the city serves its residents. The commission looked to smart city technology to enhance the city’s municipal services and improve the quality of life for its residents.
“I would like to sincerely thank National Grid, the Department of Public Service, and our Smart City Advisory Commission for their valued partnership,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said. “Schenectady has a proud history of innovation and it is incredibly important that we use technology and infrastructure to improve quality of life for residents and make our community more sustainable.”
The Smart City REV Demonstration Project also will enable third parties to deliver data analytic applications for future uses. The technology would offer citizens, developers, start-ups, universities, and entrepreneurs the ability to bring concepts to life through apps that rely on data analytics obtained from the sensors and devices that are installed on the streetlights.
The Smart City REV Demonstration Project is part of National Grid’s robust suite of customer solutions to reduce street lighting costs and promote clean energy. Other solutions include an LED streetlight option for private-area lighting customers, a program for municipalities to earn a one-time incentive payment for converting existing streetlights to LED, an opt–in luminaire replacement program where customers can choose to have National Grid install LED fixtures when existing fixtures reach their end of life, and development of an innovative streetlight portal that will provide customers with more transparency and interaction with their streetlight bills and inventory.
Phase one of the REV demonstration will include the installation of LED luminaires, intelligent network lighting controls and communication networks in two zones of the city. Phases two and three will expand this installation in other regions of the city; these phases will also include the installation of smart city sensor nodes and smart city attachments. These phases will take place over three years.
The Smart City project is among a series of REV, or Reforming the Energy Vision, demonstration projects being led by National Grid. REV is New York state’s strategy to lead on climate change and grow state economy while building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system. Among National Grid’s REV demonstration programs are the Smart Energy Solutions energy management initiative in Clifton Park , the Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Demonstration Project in Buffalo, and the Community Resilience Microgrid Demonstration Project in Potsdam.