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Light replacement project to get federal, state money

City to receive $69,000 to replace 92 metal halide lights in its Arts & Entertainment parking deck

March 17, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

A project to replace lights in a Hagerstown parking deck will receive funding assistance from the state and federal government.

The city was selected by the Maryland Clean Energy Center to receive $69,000 to replace 92 metal halide lights in its Arts & Entertainment parking deck with LED, or light-emitting diode, lights, according to a news release from the center.

Authorized in October 2008, the Maryland Clean Energy Center works to promote economic development and employment in the clean energy industry sector in Maryland, according to the Maryland State Archives.

Hagerstown's project was one of 10 energy-efficient proposals from across the state chosen to receive a chunk of U.S. Department of Energy money through the Maryland Energy Administration, the release said.

The center was asked to find and award the 10  best projects in the state for clean-energy innovation pieces of an approximately $500,000 federal pie, center spokesman Jim Pierobon said.

City Public Works Manager Eric Deike said he was notified this week that Hagerstown's project was chosen.

The deadline to apply for the grant was Feb. 15, 2011, said Deike, who noted that the project needs to be completed fairly quickly.

His goal is to have the lights replaced by early June, he said.

The Hagerstown City Council will be asked to approve the funding at an upcoming meeting, city Utility Director Mike Spiker said in an e-mail.

Deike said he hopes to ask for the council's approval in early April.

Once approved, Deike said it should take about three to five weeks to obtain and about two weeks to install the lights, which he estimates to cost about $750 apiece.

According to city documents, the city would match the grant with labor and minor material items needed for the installation.

Technology for LED lighting has significantly advanced, Pierobon said.

Deike said the city put LED lights in its North Potomac Street parking deck about a year ago. He said he believes the lights might have come down in price since then.

Replacing the old metal halide lights should reduce the city's electric demand by 153,931 kilowatt hours each year and save the city more than $15,000 in annual energy costs, city documents said.

The lights are also expected to be easier to maintain but still generate enough lighting to maintain safety in the parking deck.

There was incredible range in the projects selected for funding, center Executive Director I. Katherine Magruder said in the release.

Among other projects receiving funding was a program to leverage funding for affordable, net zero-energy homes in Frederick, Md., and a hydroelectric power plant for the Frostburg public water system in Allegany County, Md., the release said.

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