Power Circuit Project

Project Description

The city's Division of Power maintains and operates over 58,000 street lights and has over 800 street lighting circuits. Much of the existing lighting infrastructure is past its original design life and requires frequent maintenance. The city has identified several older circuits with frequent outages and maintenance tickets for replacement.

This project is for the maintenance replacement of city street lighting circuit 237. Boundaries include Cole St and Mooberry St between Ohio Ave and Rhoades Ave, also included are the bridges over I-70 (Ohio, Champion, Linwood, Miller, Kelton and Fairwood Avenues). All luminaires on the circuit will be replaced with LED and new wiring installed to convert the circuit to 3-wire operation. The utilization of LED street lighting technology has proven to provide energy savings. This is an older circuit in the city so updating to the 3-wire standard is a benefit to the citizens of Columbus. Project is currently in design and plans are anticipated to be signed fall 2023.

Project Impact

Studies show, lighting accounts for nearly 5% of global CO2 emissions. A global switch to energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) technology could save over 1,400 million tons of CO2 and avoid the construction of 1,250 power stations. Following the historic global Paris Agreement, it was noted that effective climate actions are needed. With savings of up to 50-70%, LED lighting has been recognized as one of the most actionable and ready-to-implement technologies for cities to transition to a low carbon economy and peak emissions in the next decade (LED | Climate Group theclimategroup.org).

A detailed analysis was performed to understand the existing conditions of the City of Columbus' streetlight system. The City of Columbus Division of Power is responsible for operating and maintaining over 58,000 streetlights, 800lighting controllers, 900 miles of overhead conductor and 850 miles of underground conductor. Street lighting represents a significant portion of the Columbus' municipal greenhouse gas emissions. Today, Columbus purchases nearly 910,000 MWh of energy annually and street lighting accounts for approximately 3%.

Upgrading old street lights to LEDs will improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and maintenance costs. In addition, this project directly supports three of Mayor Ginther's seven strategic priorities:

  • Public Safety and Health: LED technology emits a brighter, cleaner light that improves visibility for residents, while the system allows for programmable dimming when vehicular and pedestrian traffic is light.
  • Neighborhoods: Initial investments are focused around and between schools, recreations centers and libraries in Linden, Hilltop and the Southside neighborhoods.
  • Operational Efficiencies: new wiring and luminaires will reduce maintenance. LED fixtures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

This project is located in an urban community along the I-70 corridor. Area is predominantly racial minority with greater than 53% of population identified as black/African American according to HUD website. This area has also been identified as a Celebrate One priority neighborhood for its above average infant mortality and preterm birth rates. Overall, Columbus has one of the largest LQBTG+ populations in the country. By investing in this community and enhancing streetlights we will impact several underserved and under-represented segments of our population.

Project timeline

  • Fall 2023 - construction design plans signed, project bid.
  • Winter 2024 - issue notice to proceed for construction.
  • Construction - Anticipated to take one year to complete - Winter 2024 to 2025. Project should be substantially complete at 9 months. Lighting projects typically progress at a linear rate - 25% complete at 3 months, 50% complete at 6 months, 75% complete at 9 months and 100% completion at one year.

Project Area Map(PDF, 251KB)