Photo: Xcel Energy crews will convert 24,000 streetlights in Minneapolis to more cost efficient and environmental LED lights. Photo by Joe Treleven.

Photo: Xcel Energy crews will convert 24,000 streetlights in Minneapolis to more cost efficient and environmental LED lights. Photo by Joe Treleven.

Xcel begins the switch to LED streetlights across the state

Xcel Energy is rolling out a project to upgrade thousands of streetlights across Minnesota to more cost efficient and environmental LED lights.

“We’re joining the innovation revolution,” Xcel said in a statement.

LED lights use approximately 40-60 percent less electricity than standard high pressure sodium bulbs, and have a longer life, which means fewer maintenance and replacement trips.

Once the conversion is complete, Xcel said communities can expect to save 4-7 percent annually on street lighting bills.

“The installation of LED streetlights in Minnesota is another way Xcel Energy is making investments in technology that improves customer service and our environmental performance,” said Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy Minnesota, in a news release. “Additionally, LED streetlights will help control costs and enhance safety for the communities we serve and we’re excited to launch the program.”

About 24,000 Xcel-owned streetlights in Minneapolis will be converted to LED, according to Matthew Lindstrom, a spokesman for Xcel.

Xcel crews will install LED replacement fixtures, and the company will pay all costs associated with the retrofits, according to a statement. In other words, there are no costs to the community.

The project will take place over the next two and a half years. Weather permitting, conversions will begin in Twin Cities suburbs on Nov. 1, but a date to begin work in Minneapolis has not yet been set.

LED lights have the potential to cut general lighting energy usage nearly in half by 2030, saving energy expense and reducing carbon emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Xcel Energy said communities will benefit from improved safety, aesthetics, reliability and environmental performance.