Ameresco updates streetlighting in Memphis

  • August 1, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Massachusetts-based cleantech integrator Ameresco is upgrading more than 77,000 streetlighting fixtures in Memphis, Tennessee.

In partnership with Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW), Ameresco’s LED streetlighting, controls and networking project is designed to reduce energy costs citywide and enhance operations and maintenance capabilities with the upgrade from high-pressure sodium to LED.

In addition to providing improved illumination, enhanced safety and reduced maintenance needs, the project is expected to result in annual energy savings of more than 37 million kWh and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 26,000 metric tons. The resulting energy and operating cost savings will allow the project to pay for itself over the life of the system.

Updated luminaires will be fully controllable through remote monitoring on a secure network capable of additional smart city applications. Memphis aims to reduce its carbon emissions, while simultaneously improving both streetscape and night-time visibility.

Additionally, throughout the construction process, local residents from Memphis and the surrounding communities will be employed to participate in the construction of the streetlighting upgrades. By working with the community, Ameresco hopes to exceed Memphis’s goals for job creation and workforce development and create lasting opportunities for residents that extend beyond the project term.

“We are now almost ready to begin converting all 77,000 streetlights across our city to LED bulbs,” said mayor Jim Strickland. “By doing this, we will be bringing significantly improved lighting to every neighbourhood in Memphis. As I stated in my state of the city last year, no longer will criminals have a safe harbour to operate under cover of darkness and prey on our citizens in dimly lit parts of the city. I’m pleased this much-needed project will be starting soon.”

JT Young, CEO of MLGW, added: “MLGW is pleased to work with the city of Memphis and Ameresco to upgrade streetlighting system within the city to provide enhanced lighting, substantial energy savings, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower maintenance costs.”

As an energy services company provider of LED streetlighting conversions and non-utility purchaser of LED streetlights, Ameresco brings national streetlighting and controls experience to the project. In total, Ameresco has experience developing projects for and converting more than 800,000 streetlights to LED light sources, of which over half are controlled by a lighting management system.

“Our experience leading complex streetlighting modernisation projects with some of the largest cities in the USA, like Chicago and Phoenix, has prepared us well for our work with the city of Memphis,” said Louis Maltezos, executive vice president of Ameresco. “Our goal is to outfit the city with state-of-the-art solutions that will greatly reduce light pollution and ensure a cleaner, safer and healthier future for all Memphis residents.”

Construction is expected to begin in autumn 2022 and reach completion a year later.

Founded in 2000, Ameresco is based in Framingham, Massachusetts, and has more than 1000 employees providing local expertise in the USA, Canada and the UK.

The city of Memphis, founded in 1819 and incorporated in 1826, is the second largest city in Tennessee and the 28th-largest city in the USA in terms of population.