Nine teams have been selected to compete for the Chicago Smart Street Lighting Project.
The project involves replacing more than 270,000 outdoor sodium lamps with light-emitting diode bulbs and upgrading related infrastructure such as poles and wiring. The developer also would design, install, commission, operate and maintain a networked management system to monitor and control the lighting remotely.
The system could incorporate, as a separate project component, the installation of non-lighting-related upgrades that would allow the streetlights to be used for other purposes. These additional uses could include utility metering and billing, automated communication with residents about road maintenance services, parking management and the installation of Wi-Fi or fiber-optic networks.
The shortlisted teams which were selected based on their responses to a request for qualifications are: Aldridge Electric, Inc.; Ameresco; Black & Veatch and Cisco; ComEd; Itron and Neptun Light; John Burns Construction; Philips; Siemens; and Silver Spring Networks.
The project will be funded through energy savings and other sources. The teams competing for the project will not be expected to propose financing strategies, which the city will negotiate through a separate procurement. However, the developer must cover the cost of any non-lighting technology that is incorporated into the project and may do so through project-related revenue.
The shortlisted teams can pursue the lighting work, the non-lighting work or both.
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust, the nonprofit organization that is working with the city and the City Park District to administer the project, expects to issue the RFP in August and announce the selected teams by the end of the year.
Chicago is not the first city to use a P3 to replace its outmoded public outdoor lighting system. Michigan’s transportation department is using this procurement method to replace freeway lighting across three counties.