20160826_scotland

Scotland streamlines LED street light projects via vetted contractors

Following an earlier framework focusing on luminaires for street and roadway applications, the Scotland Excel program has now moved to preselect firms that can perform installations thus simplifying the SSL transition process for councils across the country.

The Scotland Excel program has announced a new street light framework initiative in which 13 companies, eight of which are Scottish, have been vetted as capable of undertaking municipal LED street light installations. The so-called framework is intended to last four years and is projected to drive investment of GBP 5 million ($6.6 million) per year in outdoor solid-state lighting (SSL) projects in the 32 councils across the country. The program gives the councils immediate access to experienced contractors that can accelerate the LED conversion program and deliver energy savings.

The Excel program initially established a street-light-centric program some two years back, at the time identifying a supply chain for luminaires and other materials. The program is not dissimilar from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium (MSSLC) that sought to knock down barriers to the installation or more efficient LED lighting.

According to the latest news release on what was casually called a man power framework, Excel said that in the past two years Scotland has gone from having 10,000 LED street lights installed to today having 131,000 LED street lights — 15% of the country’s total inventory. That scale of progress was equated to a GBP 32.7 million ($43.1 million) investment. Some of that funding came from the UK-based Green Investment Bank (GIB) as was covered in a story by our sister publication Lux Review. Generally, the GIB funds such projects with the municipality paying back the initial investment over time through savings in electrical costs.

Now the man power framework will complement the earlier materials program. “Together the existing materials framework and our new installation framework give councils the tools to form contracts with suppliers for the materials and man power they need to deliver major LED upgrades,” said Councillor Mike Holmes, who also serves as Convener of Scotland Excel. “This is a key focus of local authorities because it will deliver significant cost savings and carbon reductions.”

The suppliers identified in the new program include:

  • Alan Mearns Electrical Ltd (Aberdeen)
  • Gordon Electrical Limited (Dunblane)
  • J Plant Hire (Lochgilphead)
  • Lightways Contractors Limited (Falkirk)
  • Neil Campbell Electrical Contractors Ltd (Western Isles)
  • Power1 Electrical Contractors Limited (Paisley)
  • Spie Limited (Rutherglen)
  • T&N Gilmartin Ltd (Tayside)
  • Centregreat Ltd (Wales)
  • Amey LG Limited (England)
  • BAM Nuttal Limited (England)
  • Jones Lighting Ltd (England)
  • SSE Contracting Limited (England)

The announcement noted that nine of the contractors are considered small to medium enterprises and that could be critical to creating jobs through the program. Holmes added, “And because this framework is for installation only, as opposed to supply and fit, it’s opened up opportunities to smaller companies that don’t source and provide the materials as part of their service.

Back to the GIB and its work funding SSL projects, the initiative has had notable successes. For example, we covered a major UK program focused on 500 car parks. The future of the GIB, however, may look far different. Rumors persist that the GIB may begin accepting private equity partners to support its green project investments and expand its green vision beyond the shores of the UK.

Bill Rogers, head of strategy at the Green Investment Bank, will address financial models for SSL during the Keynote session at Strategies in Light Europe on Nov. 23, 2016. Our September issue will feature a preview of the Strategies in Light conference, including details regarding the company’s perspective on the LED and lighting markets. For more information on the program, visit sileurope.com.

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