Harrison Hot Springs is the first B.C. municipality to send its old streetlights to El Salvador, as part of a new partnership between an Agassiz company and the University of the Fraser Valley.
In mid-March, the Village of Harrison Hot Springs retrofitted 75 streetlights with LEDs. The $250,000 project, funded by the Union of BC Municipalities federal gas tax priorities fund, covered 14 streets and eight cul-de-sacs in the village. (Hot Springs Road and Lillooet Avenue were not included in the retrofit, as they are under Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure jurisdiction.)
The new LED lights will significantly reduce the amount of electricity consumed by streetlights in the village. According to Keith McPherson, owner of Agassiz’s Lux Measurement, they will be even more efficient than other LEDs.
“It was a lot more cost effective and a lot more energy efficient than anything around at the moment,” he said.
Harrison was the first municipality to use Lux Measurement to assess the lighting needs on different streets and create a conversion plan to LEDs. But is was also the first community to participate in Lux Measurement’s Street Light Program, which sends old street lights to Central America to be repurposed.
The Street Light Program, which operates in partnership with UFV’s trades and technology centre, sees students clean and break down the old street lights so they can be mailed to communities in El Salvador.
“It generates a bit of employment there, and it means our old lights here are being put to good use,” McPherson said.
Harrison’s old lights are currently at the university now, and are expected to be mailed to El Salvador in the coming weeks. With any luck, they’ll be installed in rural communities that are currently without street lights within the next few months.