The lights are estimated to last an estimated 20 years before needing replacement, and expected to reduce energy consumption by $6 million and cut maintenance fees by $8 million each year.
The project comes as the first part of the $100 million competitive Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency (ACE) initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“With roughly a quarter-million street lights in our city, upgrading to more energy-efficient lights is a large and necessary feat,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Not only will it save taxpayers millions, it will go a long way towards our overall sustainability goals.”
Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) commissioner Edna Wells-Handy said utilizing ACE funding is a crucial part of rebuilding a greener city.
“The ACE program overall is expected to contribute five percent of the city governments overall 30 percent reduction by 2017,” Wells-Handy said.
Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan joined Bloomberg on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn last week to announce the plan.
“Using LEDs for street lighting is more than just a bright idea, it’s necessary for sustainable cities to operate more efficiently,” Sadik-Khan said. “From our parks to our bridges and to our streets and highways, these 250,000 lights will brighten up NYC’s streetscapes for generations to come.”
The DOT has already started upgrading light posts along Eastern Parkway between Grand Central Plaza and Ralph Avenue in Brooklyn, the “necklace” of lights that adorns cables of the East River bridges, as well as portions of Central Park in Manhattan.
The first of the three-phase project, which will target 80,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights spread across all five boroughs, is expected for completion by December 2015.
Any decorative elements that have to be removed due to the replacement project will be addressed after everything is completed.