MDU to replace streetlights with LEDs

Sep 11, 2018

MDU is preparing to make a switch in streetlights.

Over the next year or so, MDU is planning to replace the halogen lights with LED lights.

"They're more efficient and cost effective," said MDU spokesman Mark Hanson.

Hanson did say it is an expensive switch.

"That means the rent amount to each city will go up dramatically," Hanson said. "But the energy savings will reduce that cost dramtically."

Now that the North Dakota Public Service Commission has approved Xcel Energy’s tariff plan to convert city streetlights to LEDs, the utility is making plans to make that conversion.

"We're planning to begin the roll-out in the spring of 2016, after the weather gets a little bit nicer," said Xcel's Dave Sederquist. "We are going to focus our efforts in North Dakota. And during the year, we thing we can have the 3500 lights converted by the end of the year."

Sederquist says this is still an optional program – so the cities would have to approve the replacements.

A step toward replacing conventional street lights with new, high efficiency LED lights, in cities served by Xcel Energy.

The Public Service Commission has okayed Xcel’s tariff for replacing those street lights. Xcel says while there’s an up-front cost to cities to replace the lights, the cities will save money in the long run.

"The LED street lights use less energy," said Commissioner Brian Kalk. "They provide better lighting, enhanced security, and they direct the light downward, to help promote dark skies."

In other words, cutting down on light pollution.