Pittsburgh is one of three cities in the running to become a model LED streetlamp city and North American headquarters for a state-of-the-art lighting company from Slovenia.
Grah Lighting of Slovenia, which has bathed quaint towns in the Baltics in an energy-efficient white light, met with officials in Pittsburgh this month. The company also makes LED lighting for high-end cars like Mercedes, Audi and BMW.
“They’re looking for a city or state willing to put together a massive pilot project,” says Councilman Bill Peduto, one of four contenders in the city’s mayoral race. “In return, they would create a North American headquarters and manufacturing center here.”
Among those who met with the company and the General Consul of Slovenia were Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, officials representing Gov. Tom Corbett, RIDC and Peduto.
To win the company’s favor, Pittsburgh must gain grant funding, with state and federal assistance, for the estimated $20 million cost. Competitive bidding would follow. Also in the running are Cleveland and Denver.
The beauty of the project is that the cost of the lighting would offset over time by the savings in energy and maintenance costs, says Peduto.
Grah was attracted to Pittsburgh, in part, by The Pittsburgh Climate Plan
, a strategy created in 2005 by Peduto and the Green Building Assoc. to reduce energy consumption in the city through improved technology. The plan calls for replacing 32,000 street lamps with LED lighting for a energy savings of 70%.
Grah Lighting is so efficient, it exceeds the city’s new lighting code for energy efficiency, says Peduto who believes the 178-acre former LTV Steel Co. site in Hazelwood, owned by Almono, LP, would suit the manufacturing operation.
“It’s a double win for green,” Peduto adds. “It’s environmentally sound and could make Pittsburgh a model of a 21st
century urban city.”
The chance Pittsburgh will land the deal is a “tangible reality,” he adds.
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Bill Peduto, City of Pittsburgh