RCAP Database | Dania Beach Case Study of

Initiative: Solar Street Lights

Municipality: 
County: 
Contact Name: 
Corinne Lajoie, AICP, LEED G.A.
Contact Email: 
cchurch@ci.dania-beach.fl.us
Coastal/Inland: 
Coastal

One thing good about solar lighting is that you won’t get a bill from the sun.

- Dominic Orlando, Public Services Director

Quick Facts & Statistics

  • The City of Dania Beach began installation of solar street lights in 2007.
  • Today the City of Dania Beach has over 500 solar street lights installed throughout the city.

Description

In the fall of 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma (Hurricane), the City of Dania Beach was in the dark for two weeks.  The Hurricane had caused severe infrastructure damage throughout Broward County.  Public utilities were scrambling to provide service.  In response to Florida Power and Light’s inability to provide the citizens of Dania Beach with power for street lights in a timely manner, the city began its own Solar Lighting Project (Project).

The city had previously conducted a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) study which found additional street lighting was needed in many of the city’s neighborhoods to help deter crime.  Having the existing street lights out of service for an extended period of time, as occurred in the aftermath of the Hurricane, only exacerbated the problem and underscored the need for an alternative.

The city’s Public Services Department took the lead role in the project.  Staff researched available lighting products and chose a fixture with an integrated top of pole mounted solar power module, which mounts separately from the luminaries, to optimally capture the sun’s energy.  

Implementation Process

Solar energy is an inexhaustible supply of free energy which is in abundant supply in South Florida, making the City of Dania Beach a prime candidate for this type of project.  Public Services researched the benefits of solar energy and found solar energy is environmentally clean, reduces inefficient power use, reduces greenhouse emissions by 40%, and reduces light pollution, which is particularly welcome in residential neighborhoods.  As staff members began to research further, they learned solar street lights would require no connection to the electric grid, and no ongoing energy cost would be incurred to operate the light fixture.  In addition, the solar street lights come with a warranty of fifteen (15) years for the solar module and five (5) years for the batteries.  Each pole fixture is designed to withstand wind speed of 150 miles per hour.

 

Another benefit of solar lights is ease of use.  They have no moving parts making them virtually free of maintenance.  Also, they use LED bulbs, which have an extended life expectancy.  As our dependence on traditional sources of energy becomes more expensive, solar energy becomes more attractive.  The solar lights fixtures chosen by Dania Beach offer quick startup with all parts arriving together; plug-and-play wiring and minimal hardware assembly, and they are automatically operated.  Solar lighting is a super low-voltage product which is a safe and reliable operation, making it a smart choice for the city.

 

The City pays Florida Power and Light, our utility provider, approximately twenty-five dollars ($25) per electrical street light per month.  To date, the city has installed more than 500 lights in Dania Beach.  This represents an annual savings of approximately one hundred-fifty thousand dollars ($150,000).

 

Today, the City of Dania Beach is at the forefront of the utilization of solar power with the installation of more than 500 solar powered street lights throughout the city.  The Project has been funded with money the city receives from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  We are now moving forward in providing solar lighting in other sections of the city, with the goal to first ensure light coverage for the entire city and with the later possibility of replacing all conventional street lights with solar.  The City of Dania Beach is proud of its leadership role in the use of solar energy and has published a brochure to educate the public on the benefits of our solar lighting project. 

 

To date the city has completed several phases, installing more than 500 solar lights.  This is an ongoing project for the city. Installation of addition fixtures continues to occur as funding becomes available.

Implementation Timeline

The installation of solar street lights in Dania Beach began in 2007.  The City continues to install additional fixtures throughout the city as funding becomes available.  The goal is to provide the entire city with solar street lights.  This is an ongoing project for the city.

Implementation Funding

Originally, the solar street lights we funding through the Dania Beach general fund.  Later funding was secured through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The most recent installations of solar street lights have been funding through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Community Benefits

The installation of over 500 solar street light fixtures in the City of Dania Beach has provided residents with uninterrupted illumination at night, including post natural disaster. The City’s solar street light program will ensure the darkness experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma (2005) will not occur again.

As discussed previously, the city had conducted a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) study which found additional street lighting was needed in many of the city’s neighborhoods to help deter crime.  Having existing street lights out of service for an extended period of time, as occurred in the aftermath of the Hurricane, only exacerbated the problem and underscored the need for an alternative. The instillation of over 500 solar street lights has provided the illumination in our neighborhoods and elsewhere, to reduce dark and potentially dangerous areas of our city.

Finally, the city’s solar street light program, and the installation of over 500 solar street lights, has resulted in reduced municipal cost of approximately $150,000 annually.