Manitoba Hydro is at final stage of its 5-year LED Roadway Lighting Conversion Program to replace old-style high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights with energy-efficient LEDs throughout the province.
About 97% of all street lights from Emerson to Churchill are now LED – that’s approximately 130,000 lights with about 75,000 in Winnipeg.
The switch to LED street lights is expected to save 35 gigawatt hours in electricity and 6 megawatts in winter peak demand savings in the coming year, as LED fixtures consume nearly 60% less energy than HPS technology.
The power we save by switching to LEDs can be exported to provinces and states that don’t use renewable power. These exported savings are about 27,000 tonnes of indirect greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to the energy consumed by 2,200 average homes in Manitoba in a year.
Besides saving energy, LED streetlights produce a more direct and visually appealing white light for drivers and pedestrians and can last up to 20 years with less maintenance than HPS lights. LED lights are also completely recyclable.
Still left to switch over are specialty or heritage lights in Winnipeg’s downtown and lighting at some provincial highway intersections. Work on converting these lights continues.