Raisin Capital shines under new lights

The City of Selma can be viewed in a new light.

The City has 144 new light emitting diode, or LED, street lights casting a brighter glow than the old high-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced. The new lights are also significantly more energy efficient, saving the City much needed cash on its utility bills.

“In these challenging budget times, it is a great assistance to have new street lights provided through a grant that will help the City of Selma reduce its utility bills, as well as provide brighter lighting for residents, said Ken Grey, Mayor

This means significant savings to City coffers through lower utility bills. The energy efficiency retrofits, when complete, will save the City about 66,700 kilowatt hours of power and about $8,500 in energy costs per year. The amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere annually would be roughly equivalent to that produced by 9 passenger vehicles.

And those are big deals in these economic times.

Another big deal is that the entire project isn’t costing the City a dime. The money came from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The program is administered through the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to receive grant funding for this project. Without the funding for purchase and installation of the lighting, we would not have the chance to do this replacement project,” said George Rodriguez, Mayor Pro Tem.

Selma, which is known as the Raisin Capital, joined with 35 other cities and counties in the region to form the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Partnership, which is led by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District with the assistance of the nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization. The Partnership administers the more than $4 million in grants and provides technical assistance to local governments.

The City worked with Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which installed the lights through its LED street light retrofit program.

photo of Selma Raisin Festival by City of Selma