Climate-controlled street and traffic lights

| March 9, 2011

It’s Cornhusker common-sense.

Nature is being called on to provide light at night for people using roads in Lincoln, Neb. The city is testing wind and solar power as a source of energy to power street and traffic lights. It’s a green initiative of course, but it’s also aimed at saving money.

When we talk green or budget cutting in infrastructure these days the concepts always seem to be big, really big. But here is a common-sense, almost anyone can do it test-project that offers some real value.

Lincoln spends almost $1 million to run streetlights and $72,000 to run traffic signals and signs each year, and that all comes out of the city’s general fund. So, big saving. But the goal is to produce more power that the lights need so that the excess can be sold to the local utility  to make the installations even more cost effective.

But what it it’s a cloudy, windless day? Backup systems are in place so no worries.

The city is working with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the 3-year pilot project, paid for with a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Check out  Algis Laukaitis’ story in the Lincoln Star Journal.

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