Buenos Aires is retrofitting its street lights with smart LEDs in order to save electricity and better control lighting throughout the city.

The Challenge

Faced with the threat of rising energy prices and a volatile market, Buenos Aires decided to become a leader in energy efficiency by embarking on this four-year street light retrofit project. The most efficient way to reduce energy costs is to reduce electricity usage, and the city is already making headway on that front, as the initiative saves 44.5 million kWh of electricity annually.

 

The Solution

In 2013, the Argentine capital began a public light retrofit project with the goal of replacing 91,000, or 72%, of conventional street lights with energy-efficient LEDs by the end of 2016. The city is well on its way to achieving its goal, as 60,000 street lights have already been retrofitted. So far, these new lights have avoided 9,866 tons of CO2 emissions and generated 14.77 GWh of energy savings. On top of the street light plan, the city has also replaced all 138,000 traffic lights with high-efficiency LED bulbs, leading to a 90% electricity savings. The LED fixtures generate electricity savings of between 40% and 70%

The LED fixtures generate electricity savings of between 40% and 70% compared to conventional technologies. But the new street lights are not just efficient, they are smart. Buenos Aires’ new street lights include a built-in tele-management system under which every city street light can be controlled remotely from a centralized control panel. This enables the city to turn the lights on incrementally as it gets darker, quickly detect and correct failures, and plan maintenance more efficiently.

 

Social Benefits – The city expects to see a reduction in crime and increase in use of public space in areas with new LED lights.

Health Benefits – Traffic accidents are expected to be reduced, as drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists all have better visibility due to new LED street lights.

 

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2015 publication online here.