LED pilot launched in Kolkata to save costs and emissions in India’s largest ever city installation of LED streetlights

18 November 2010

Kolkata, India, 17 November 2010The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), international NGO The Climate Group and HSBC this week announced the launch of India's largest Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlighting pilot program in Kolkata. The ground-breaking LED pilot project will undertake a comprehensive trial of over 270 lights installed on several of the city's arterial roads. The project will help the KMC understand practical ways it could make substantial cuts in urban emissions and savings on energy-related costs from street lighting over the next few years. The insight gained will not only be shared with other Indian cities but internationally.

The project is carried out by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation in joint collaboration with the Government of India's Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (WBSEDCL), and the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), with overall facilitation of The Climate Group. The project cost is equally shared between Bureau of Energy Efficiency and Kolkata Municipal Corporation.

The Kolkata initiative is part of The Climate Group's international LightSavers program supported by HSBC and joins 10 other pilots world cities including Hong Kong, New York, London, Sydney, Tianjin (China), and Toronto.

LEDs use substantially less power than conventional light bulbs and pilot projects internationally have so far shown a reduction of 40-50 % in electricity use when LEDs replace traditional sodium vapour lamps, and savings of up to 70 per cent when LEDS are used with smart controls. Globally lighting accounts for 6% of worldwide CO2 emissions.

Mr Arnab Roy, KMC Municipal Commissioner, says: “Kolkata has 180,000 street lights, so the potential to scale up this clean technology is considerable. We look forward to working alongside The Climate Group and its members to better understand the wide-ranging benefits of this clean technology including energy and carbon savings.”

Aditi Dass, Programme Manager, Cities and Regions at The Climate Group says: “We are proud to partner with the City of Kolkata on this pioneering outdoor LED pilot test. By participating in this initiative, the City is taking a real step forward to making street-lighting more energy efficient and greener while generating savings for the City and its residents over time.”

Ms Malini Thadani, Head of Group Communications and Corporate Sustainability at HSBC India, said: “We welcome these trials. LED lighting is one of the key technologies that can improve living conditions, create tomorrow's jobs and cut energy bills and emissions.”

The LED installation began in Kolkata in October 2010 with a first tranche of 20 Philips Lumec RoadStar LED streetlights. A 12-month monitoring phase of project will begin in December to measure product performance, including illuminance, uniformity, color temperature, and energy savings, and will be carried out over a year. Findings from the Kolkata pilot project will confirm whether the new LED lights meet Indian streetlighting standards and could provide the basis for a possible scale-up strategy. Information from the pilot will also be used in a new global LED report that will compare results from The Climate Group's other global pilot trials and assess the potential energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions in each city.

Over the next few weeks and months, The Climate Group and KMC will host a series of capacity building workshops on the potential of LED technology for other relevant city corporations, development authorities, electricity supply corporations, large housing complex owners and other organizations.

Kolkata is not the only Indian city looking to trial LED technology, Thane in Maharashtra is poised to become the site for the next round of pilot tests in the country.

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