LED street lighting projects in Scotland are streamlined and vetted through contractors, and a new street lighting framework initiative has been announced by The Scotland Excel program. In this framework, 8 out of 13 Scottish companies were vetted and declared capable of being able to undertake installations of LED street lights. It is intended that the initiative will last for a period of four years, with a projected annual investment drive in outdoor SSL lighting (Solid-State Lighting) throughout 32 borough councils countrywide, of approximately £5m ($6.6m). This program facilitates each council gaining instant access to highly-experienced contactors who were able to speed up and produce energy savings within the LED conversion program.
Two years ago, the Excel program established what is known as the “street-light-centric program”, and identified a stable supply chain for luminaires and other similar products. This program can be likened to that of the DoE’s (Department of Energy) Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium (MSSLC), which fought to break down the barriers for the installation of more effective LED lighting.
In a more recent news release, it discussed what was referred to as the “casual manpower framework.” Excel claimed that during the previous two years, Scotland had installed 10,000 LED street lights, whereas more recently, the number had increased to 131,000, which is estimated to be 15% of the total inventory across the country. The investment figures for this scale of progress are estimated to be £32.7m ($43.1m). A percentage of the funding, as mentioned in our sister publication story (Lux Review), was generated from the British-based GIB (Green Investment Bank). In general, the GIB provides the initial investment for this type of project, and the borough pays back the funding over a period of time by way of electrical cost savings.
Councilor and Convener of Scotland Excel, Mike Holmes stated, “Together with the prevailing materials framework and our new installation framework it offers the Council the tools with which to create contracts with the suppliers for the materials, and also the essential man power in order to deliver substantial LED upgrades”. “It will be the main focus of local authorities as it will offer carbon reductions as well as substantial costs savings.”
Suppliers who have been identified within the new program are:
- Alan Mearns Electrical Ltd (Aberdeen) SME
- Gordon Electrical Limited (Dunblane) SME
- J Plant Hire (Lochgilphead) SME
- Lightways Contractors Limited (Falkirk) SME
- Neil Campbell Electrical Contractors Ltd (Western Isles) SME
- Power1 Electrical Contractors Limited (Paisley) SME
- Spie Limited (Rutherglen)
- T&N Gilmartin Ltd (Tayside) SME
- Centregreat Ltd (Wales) SME
- Amey LG Limited (England)
- BAM Nuttal Limited (England)
- Jones Lighting Ltd (England) SME
- SSE Contracting Limited (England)
In the broadcast it was noted that there were nine contractors who were considered to be small/medium enterprises, which could be vital for creating jobs within the program. Mr. Holmes also added, “Because the program is not a supply and fit, but installation only, it has opened up an opportunity for those smaller businesses that are unable to source/supply materials as part of their service.
Returning now to the GIB and its SSL work funded projects, there has been a visible success. By way of example, our company undertook a substantial project in the UK which focused on some 500 car parks. It is possible, nonetheless, that the future of the Green Investment Bank may look entirely different. Rumors continue on the likelihood that the GIB has started to accept private equity partners, in order to support its green project investments, and develop their green vision well past the coastline of the UK.