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Our Melville trial to make lighting streetlights smarter

Streetlights but smarter

Imagine saving up to an estimated 70,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year* by changing the way we light up our streets. 

That is what’s possible with the new smart streetlights. 

We are always looking at ways to take advantage of the latest technology to provide our customers with a better experience. That involves working towards delivering innovative, intelligent, and future-focused solutions for streetlighting. 

In November 2019, we commenced our smart streetlights trial in Melville. The 12-month trial is testing new technology that will provide communities with an enhanced streetlighting product that can automatically report its own faults for quicker repairs, be dimmed/brightened remotely and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 65% (compared to standard streetlights). 

Project statistics
As well as having smart capability, these streetlights have LED technology which provides enhanced illumination, longer life, lower maintenance costs and improved energy efficiency, while heavily reducing CO2 emissions which means they are more cost-effective for councils to run.
278,000
the number of street lights on our network
65 %
reduction in CO2 emissions compared to standard streetlights
40,000
customer calls received every year about failed or broken streetlights
99 %
reduction in customer calls if the whole network switches to smart streetlights

So how does it work? 

Smart streetlights are LED streetlights with smart PE cell capability.  

The trial will see 100 LED streetlights connected by a wireless radio frequency, which ‘talks’ to our network control centre. This means that if a streetlight is faulty or broken, the network control centre is automatically notified and has real-time information on exactly what and where the issue is. 

The technology in the streetlights uses very low-level radio frequency, exactly like our AMI smart metering technology. 

The new LED luminaires meet current Australian standards in relation to road category and safety requirements. 

Considering we currently own and operate over 278,000 streetlights in WA, this technology has the potential to transform how we manage these assets on a large scale. 

Trialling smart streetlights in Melville

Melville was chosen for the trial as there were multiple streetlights in the area requiring an upgrade. To minimise cost and reduce customer outages, smart streetlights were incorporated as part of these planned upgrade works. 

In a Western Australian Utility first, these streetlights will be operated on a system-wide basis providing direct benefits to residents and local councils/shires. 

Smart streetlights - a green solution

It is estimated that the 278,000 existing standard streetlights across the network emit 95,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

By converting all these streetlights to LED, we estimate a reduction of 50-60% CO2 emissions without even dimming the lights. If the LED streetlights are fitted with smart capability, the total reduction of CO2 emissions could be far greater.  

  • Greening the grid, one LED streetlight at a time

    The transition to LED streetlights is part of our move towards a cleaner, greener grid. With significant reductions in CO2 emissions and maintenance costs, it makes sense.

    Read on to find out more ...

  • The how's and why's of streetlights

    What are the benefits of LED streetlights? Who manages faulty streetlights? How long does it take to repair a streetlight? We've answered all your streetlight questions.

    Read more in our FAQs....

Smart savings 

This trial will also test the effectiveness and compatibility of smart streetlighting within our grid management systems. The streetlights can also communicate with our control centre.

We receive on average around 40,000 calls per year regarding faulty streetlights - the use of smart streetlights will remove the need for reporting back to Western Power  as our system will be able to see the status and condition of the new lights.

It is estimated this will reduce the number of calls by 99once complete - a huge time and cost saving for customers and for us.

Why it’s good for customers, councils and the grid 

The LED technology has several benefits for residents and local councils as they provide enhanced illumination, longer life, lower maintenance costs, and improved energy efficiency, while heavily reducing CO2 emissions which means they are more cost-effective for councils to run.  They have:

  • Capability for real-time control of brightness/ dimming according to weather conditions 
  • Early detection of streetlight faults, avoiding the need for the fault to be reported by customers, as now the business will know when we have a fault. 
  • Efficient replacement and service of faulty streetlights 
  • Longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs 
  • Improved energy efficiency. 

Following the trial 

The trial will last twelve months, and once complete in the second half of 2020, we would like this offering to continue throughout our network to our customers.

We are looking ahead for the next opportunity on these smart streetlights and are currently evaluating smart technology suppliers. Stayed tuned for more exciting information. 

We've got a lot more innovative energy technology projects taking place. Check them out here.

Want to find out what else we’re working on to deliver a better energy future?