Swindon Borough Council has partnered up with SSE Enterprise Contracting (SSEC) to provide smart street lighting across the borough.

The scheme, which is set to begin next Monday (6 July) and due for completion in November 2021, will see 28,000 street lights converted to LED lanterns, with central controls which use energy efficient technology.

The upgrade is expected to deliver a substantial reduction in the amount of energy purchased and utilised by the Council, aiming for a 61% improvement, while also providing better lighting services for residents.

Councillor Maureen Penny, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Maintenance and Waste Services, said: “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with SSE to replace all of the street lights in the borough with LED alternatives. This project is just one of many ways we are working towards achieving Swindon’s low carbon and climate change ambitions.

“These LED lights consume less energy, reduce light pollution and will save almost £800,000 per year. The upgraded system will also include a new management system which will allow us to switch lights on or off, and dim individual or groups of lamps. This will give us better control over our power consumption, while the system will also automatically notify us of any failures, reducing the need for night-time inspections.”

Stephen Paye, SSE Enterprise Contracting’s Contract Manager on the project, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Swindon Borough Council again and proud to be undertaking the LED lighting upgrade, continuing to build on the long history and great working relationship we have built over the years. This is a great project that will bring huge benefits to Swindon, reducing the light pollution, energy consumption and their carbon footprint.

“We have chosen Telensa to support with the delivery of the Central Management System commitment. Telensa have extensive experience working with asset management systems, which complements our delivery commitments. We are looking forward to them working with us to support the successful completion of this project.”

Will Gibson, founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Telensa, said: “Towns and cities across the South West are increasingly adopting wireless control systems for their streetlights to achieve a smarter, more efficient environment for their citizens. I’m delighted to be supporting SSE Contracting, a leading innovator in street lighting solutions, to deliver this project.”

Salix Finance, a government-funded organisation providing interest-free loans for investment in energy efficiency projects across the UK public sector, is providing the Council with £6.97m of funding to undertake the street lighting upgrade.

Lindy Frey, Street Lighting Programme Manager at Salix Finance, said: “We are proud to be supporting Swindon Borough Council to deliver this major upgrade which will deliver crucial financial and carbon savings, and play an important role in the authority’s climate action.”