Things are brightening up in Red Bluff with a little help from the sun.Three solar-powered parking lot lights at Red Bluff Skate Park have made an impression on the city, and if they continue to prove their success, they may be the motivation for going green with lighting in other areas around town.
I think we took a chance, because we had never really seen solar parking lot lights in action, but they are a great thing and they work great, said Debbie Carlisi, director of Parks and Recreation Department.
The solar lights were installed in September, she said. They soak up the sun s rays all day and store the power in a battery.
The Public Works and Parks and Recreation departments decided to use solar lighting instead of traditional because it was more cost-effective, she said. These are the first solar lights the city of Red Bluff has used, but they will probably not be the last.
Of course, everybody wants to go green, Carlisi said. By using solar, that s helping.
They are also economically efficient.
We don t have to pay anybody as long as the sun shines, Carlisi said.
The city also saved with installation costs.
Traditional lighting estimates were more than $20,000 to dig trenches, run an electrical supply and for engineering costs for new service from Pacific Gas & Electric, said Public Works Director Mark Barthel.
The solar lights themselves were similar in cost to traditional lights, about $6,500 each, he said. The city estimates
it saves about $250 a year in electricity costs for the three lights, plus an additional savings from not having billing.We are thrilled with them, Barthel said.
The solar panels should have a 15-year lifespan and the batteries should last five to seven years, depending on how much they have to be cycled and recharged, he said.
We are going to give them a little more time to see how well they do, Barthel said.
But if the solar lights continue to prove themselves as an economically and environmentally efficient lighting method, the city will probably look into using them elsewhere, he said.
If some dollars came along for some green type of technology where we could apply solar lighting, we would probably look at some areas where we need lighting or need lighting replaced, Barthel said.