The Lancaster City Council voted on Tuesday to give a $2.9 million contract to BYD Energy to transition its streetlights to LEDs by the end of the year.
Forty percent of the 17,825 lights will be made by BYD at its plant in Lancaster. LEDs will provide better lighting output and distribution for the city and result in a cost savings of about $250,000 a year.
Mayor R. Rex Parris said Lancaster was proud to be the first city in North America to use BYD lamps on its streets.
“If there’s a way to create jobs, cut energy costs and make our air cleaner, why wouldn’t we take it?” Parris said in a prepared statement.
BYD Energy was among 19 vendors submitting proposals over the summer that were evaluated based on pricing, overall quality of the LED lights, warranty and satisfaction of previous clients. The three top-ranked companies then submitted sample lights to test additional characteristics, including ease of installation, illumination, aesthetics and ease of maintenance. BYD received the highest overall ranking, according to a staff report.
Lancaster is eligible for a refund on the cost of putting in the LEDs through Southern California Edison, which pays up to 80 percent for each LED light that is purchased and installed.
BYD Energy is part of Chinese electric vehicle and battery manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. Its Lancaster facility opened in 2013 and now employs more than 400 workers that make electric buses and other vehicles.