The Glen Cove City Council unanimously voted to enter into talks with the New York Power Authority regarding the city’s possible participation in the state’s Smart Street Lighting NY program on Oct. 10. City Mayor Timothy Tenke said that the program would allow the city to upgrade its street lighting to new LED lights in order to help revitalize the downtown area.
“This project would be at no cost to the taxpayers of Glen Cove as the installation costs are covered by the difference of the annual savings…from the new LEDs,” Tenke said. “It would affect about 85 percent of the street lights in the city.”
The remaining lights were either on private property or would be too costly to retrofit with the new lights. Paul DeMichele, the media relations manager for NYPA, explained that NYPA provides upfront financing for the conversions and is then repaid over several years from the energy savings. He added that NYPA has been working with multiple municipalities across the state after State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Smart Street Lighting NY project in 2018.
The initiative called for at least 500,000 street lights in the state to be replaced with the energy-saving LED lights by 2025. It aims to reduce the state’s energy consumption by 482 gigawatt-hours, the equivalent of nearly 45,000 households. Cuomo said that the program would not only save taxpayers $87 million a year upon completion, but it would also help the state reach its mission of reducing climate emissions by 40 percent come 2030.
“This modernization program will help save taxpayer money, increase energy efficiency, and increase public safety through increased visibility,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s a win-win-win that complements this administration’s efforts to fight climate change and create a cleaner, greener New York for all.”
The public safety portion of the plan was especially attractive for Glen Cove. Grant Newburger, the public relations officer for the city, said the it would be important for Glen Cove to promote the new lighting so as to make residents feel more comfortable going out at night, especially with the new develops occurring at Village Square and Gravies Point.
As the city prepares to finalize the deal with NYPA, it hopes to have the installation work begin in the coming weeks.