Street-light Smart

Thesis; by Shruti Saraf
Guided by: Dr. Satish Kumar, Shelly Kulshrestha
24 September 2016

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Currently 31% of India’s population lives in cities, these also generate 63% of the nation’s economic activity. These numbers are rapidly increasing, with almost half of India’s population projected to live in urban areas by 2030. Cities are responsible for the two-thirds of global energy consumption and the associated GHG emissions.

Therefore, ULBs are now focussing on the most pressing needs and on the greatest opportunities to improve quality of life for residents alongwith saving municipal expenses.

 

Source: ESMAP Global Energy Efficiency Street Lighting Conference Proceedings_Delhi   www.theguardian.com

Public infrastructure in Indian cities are subjected to systemic inadequacies and inappropriate maintenance procedures. Street lighting in most parts of India is in need of improvements and suffers from inefficient operation and maintenance. In an effort to improve the state of street lights, some urban local bodies have embarked on energy efficiency projects in street lighting.

This research project on ‘Municipal Street Light Management: Towards Strengthening Participation of Energy Service Companies’, attempts to explore various management models along with components for Municipal Street Light (MSL). Furthermore, it explores the involvement of private sector focusing on Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). Understanding the benefits and challenges for involvement of these Energy Service Providers and proposing recommendations for strengthening ESCO involvement forms the conclusion of the project.

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Initially, developing an understanding of the concept of Municipal Street Lighting along with Indian Standards for street lighting and theoretical knowledge of ESCO and performance contracting was vital. As part of the site study, meeting municipal authorities of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation as well as stakeholder of ESCO projects led to understanding current system of street light management in Ahmedabad. A questionnaire was designed for interaction with different people. The respondents included experts like street light consultants, AMC officials,

ESCO authorities, etc. Each respondent was asked a different set of questions as per his designation/expertise. 

The intention behind these interactions was to know about the street light scenario in Ahmedabad, operation and maintenance procedures, technology used, concept and need of ESCOs, challenges faced in ESCO implementation, etc. Furthermore, a visual tour of street lights in various cities like Ahmedabad, Baroda, Diu, Jaipur and Kathmandu was conducted.

 

A site tour of Navrangpura ward of West Zone in Ahmedabad, was done with a technician to understand procedures that have been put in place for preventive as well as breakdown maintenance of street lights. There are a total of 65 sections in this particular ward. As part of preventive maintenance, all 65 section feeders are weekly checked by the Citelum technician. On an average, 12 sections are checked each day.

The flowchart above shows the Streetlight operation and maintenance process followed in Ahmedabad.

The flowchart above shows the Streetlight operation and maintenance process followed in Ahmedabad. 

The flowchart above shows the Streetlight operation and maintenance process followed in Ahmedabad.

The flowchart above shows the Streetlight operation and maintenance process followed in Ahmedabad. 

The flowchart captures the street light operation and maintenance process followed in Ahmedabad.

Components of Street Light Management

As per the study, the following components lead to efficient street light management:

  • Level of illumination
  • Human Resource Management
  • Operation and Maintenance
  • Innovation in Technology
  • Energy and cost savings measures

These components have been elaborately defined and elaborated in the context of Ahmedabad city where Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) is responsible for installing and managing the street lights and O&M has been outsourced to ‘Citelum’ – a private French company. A pilot LED retrofitting project by ESCO Saket Projects Ltd., has begun in the West Zone of the city.

LED technology and ESCOs

In recent years, the LED technology has been a revolutionary invention and through this, street light management witnessed a paradigm shift. As they are believed to save power by almost 50%, this has changed the energy consumption pattern of street lights and has impacted longevity of the lamps. LED companies provide warranty up to two years which was previously not provided in conventional  technologies.  So, in the macro picture, it affects the major components of street light management. Power saving and low O&M cost without sacrificing light levels are major concerns of ULBs now a days. An

ESCO is an organization that provides energy-efficiency-related and other value-added services like LED retrofitting. The ESCO enters into a performance contract with a client, guaranteeing a certain amount of energy saving which will payback for the project cost and ESCO service.

Benefits and Challenges

Some Indian cities like Jaipur, Bhubaneswar, etc. have implemented EE street lighting projects using LEDs. The major benefit of such an implementation is energy and cost savings for the ULB without spending a penny and technology upgradation of the entire system by skilled personnel of a private party. There is no responsibility on the ULB for maintenance till contract period is over.Furthermore, implementing such projects increases the credibility of the ULB and leads to reduced GHG emissions in the long run.

The challenges identified are common among these cities like difficulty in third party financing, poor in-house capacity in ULBs, no past experience of implementing such projects, poor availability of baseline date, weak measurement & verification mechanism, etc. 

Recommendations

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Recommendations

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Standardization of baseline formats, technologies and M&V methodology has been recommended for easier replication and scaling up of the model. New Roles of EESL and GMFB in terms of implementation and financing have been recommended. Innovative and structured financing schemes like EE Green bonds have been suggested along with introduction of favorable policies and regulations by the government for encouraging EE projects. These recommendations need to be pilot tested as no ideas come without a new set of problems. To evolve the ESCO sector in India, innovative solutions need to be tried and tested.