Streetlighting Retrofit

Williamstown Street Lighting Retrofit Project

Many towns and cities in Massachusetts are retrofitting streetlights with LEDs in an effort to save energy, costs and improve safety and the quality of lighting. In Berkshire County, the communities of Dalton, North Adams, Pittsfield and Lanesborough are among those who have completed lighting retrofits.

Currently most streetlights in Williamstown are older high-pressure sodium lamps, characterized by a yellow glow, and expensive to operate. Earlier this year, the Williamstown Fire District (who manages the street lights) and National Grid (who owns the street lights) made plans to replace the old inefficient streetlights in Williamstown with quality energy efficient LED lighting. LED lights have a range of color options, last longer and save energy and costs. Due to tariff restrictions National Grid could only offer LED lamps with a rating of 4000 degrees Kelvin. Kelvin is a measure of the color temperature or look and feel of the light.

In response to community input, the Fire District, who manages the streetlights, decided to take a different approach. Since more options of lighting color and brightness are available if the Fire District owns the streetlights rather than National Grid, the Fire District has partnered with the Town of Williamstown and the COOL Committee to explore ownership of the streetlights. Next steps are to negotiate the buy back of the lights from National Grid, conduct an audit/inventory of existing lights, prepare a lighting design, and ultimately retrofit lights with quality LED lamps.

In addition, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council is providing technical assistance and contracting support MAPC is working with over 45 municipalities in Massachusetts to retrofit more than 75,000 streetlights.

We have notified National Grid that we wish to buy back the streetlights and are waiting for their response and price. This process can take several months. In parallel to the purchase negotiations, we are engaging Tanko Lighting to begin the lighting audit.

We are hosting a Street Lighting Listening Session on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Williamstown Police Department to provide an update and get public input. If you are unable to attend and/or would like to share your thoughts on street lighting in Williamstown or receive updates on the project, please complete the form below.

Project Team Leaders

John Notsley, Chair of the Prudential Committee, Williamstown Fire District

Jason Hoch, Town Manager, Town of Williamstown

Stephanie Boyd, Nancy Nylen, Williamstown COOL Committee

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