Township plans $60K LED streetlight project

By Chris Hagan
Review Staff Writer
The Orion Township board approved a cost sharing project between DTE Energy and the township that will convert 211 street lights to LED.
Slated to be finished this year, the project, which cost just over $70,000, will only cost Orion Township $62,054 through the cost sharing partnership. DTE will be contributing nearly $8,000 in labor cost for the conversion and will owe the township an energy rebate of $8,721.
“The lighting at the major intersections has never been upgraded, so it’s a sweet deal and finally we’ll have proper, current lighting in the township,” Orion Township Operations Director Jeff Stout said.
According to DTE, the amount of money that will be saved by switching to LED will save the township over $17,000 a year; making the project budget neutral in just over three years.
Currently, the streetlights use mercury vapor, metal halide, and high pressure sodium and cost the township $49,408 a year to operate. With the switch to LED, it’s expected those annual operating costs will drop to $32,263.
According Stout, many of those lights are decades old so the upgrade was an overdue project. He said it’s expected to be completed by the end of the 2016 construction season and the streetlight LED project is the last piece to the township’s energy infrastructure upgrades.
“We have gone above and beyond to get the township on LED, and whenever we can save money for the township that’s our goal,” Stout said.