An intelligent street lighting system which can be controlled, dimmed, and remotely monitor faults is to be installed in Aberdeen – one of the first cities in Scotland to have such a system.

A total of 3,500 controllers are to be fitted to street lights and the system, which is part of Aberdeen City Council’s digital transformation, will lead to additional savings on annual street lighting energy consumption.

It will also mean repairs can be carried out more quickly as faults can be monitored remotely rather than waiting for an engineer to assess the problem.

Aberdeen City Council operational delivery convener councillor John Wheeler said: “We are at the forefront of transforming the digital infrastructure in Aberdeen which will bring benefits not only to the council through savings, but also to residents by being smarter about getting our lights repaired.

“World-class connectivity is important in our economic and social ambitions for the city and it’s fantastic that we are one of the first cities in Scotland to install an intelligent lighting system.”

The intelligent street lighting project involves retrospectively fitting current LED street lights with a unit, and also adding the unit to new LED lamps before they are installed. The units are part of a configuration management system (CMS) and then link up to a cloud-based intelligent network which will have other smart solutions added to it.

A £9m seven year rolling program of replacing the old inefficient and expensive street lighting with more efficient and cost-effective LED lighting is already taking place.

Energy costs for street lighting as of December 2015 were £2m per year which is estimated to fall to £1.1m per year after all the street lighting has been replaced with LED lanterns.

In addition to saving money, LED lighting gives out a bright, clear light which is easier to the human eye, provides improved safety for pedestrians, and clearer pictures for CCTV footage, compared to the older orange sodium lights.

The intelligent street lights can also be dimmed to save money so, for example, they could be at full strength near the new AECC/TECA when there is a gig or event on, and then dimmed to minimal legal limits at other times.

The company installing the intelligent lighting system is specialist smart solutions firm Pinacl. Alasdair Rettie, technical director at Pinacl, said: “We are delighted to be working with Aberdeen to help them achieve their Smart City vision.

“The new city-wide intelligent network provides a third layer of connectivity that will allow Aberdeen City council to efficiently deploy a variety of Smart City solutions across the city”.

The project is being funded by ACC for £525,000, along with £349,400 from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund). It is part of the Scottish Cities Alliance’s Scotland’s 8th City - the Smart City ERDF programme, which is an ambitious programme of collaborative innovation across Scotland’s cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth, and Stirling. Smart Cities is designed to integrate data and digital technologies into a strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well-being and economic development. By working together, the seven cities have bought into a vision to make cities more attractive, liveable and resilient through data and digital technology.

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