CASE STUDY

City of Chicago Smart Lighting Program

Quick Summary

The City of Chicago outlined a four-year effort to provide the city with more reliable and energy-efficient outdoor lighting by replacing over 270,000 existing outdated High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) light fixtures with new LED light fixtures on streets, alleys and viaducts. These changes will save city taxpayers $100 million over the next ten years.

Challenge:
  • Deploy over a quarter million smart LED streetlights and wireless controls in the world’s largest city-led project
  • Maintain the streetlight network and smart devices and the underlying electrical circuits
  • Deploy new streetlight operations applications that integrates lighting CMS, billing, 311 (Salesforce.com) and ArcGIS platforms
Solution:
  • TerraGo’s StreetlightOps® Platform, including Installation, Maintenance and Work Order modules
  • TerraGo’s iPaaS solution for integrating CMS (SLV), streetlight work orders (StreetlightOps), 311 (Salesforce.com), and GIS (ArcGIS)
Results:
  • More than 251,000 LED lights have been installed and the project has met or exceeded its ambitious schedule and the delivery of over $10 million per year in savings
  • Transformed operations with intelligent work order management that reduces truck rolls, optimizes routes, improves service and reduces outage times
  • Automated work order assignment, eliminated paper forms and reduced work order delays

The Challenge

The City of Chicago Smart Lighting Program represented one of the largest and most ambitious smart lighting programs in the world. The scale and schedule presented numerous challenges that needed to be met. 

  • Speed of Deployment – accelerating installs creates massive savings at this scale, installation delays would likewise be costly and lessen economic benefits
  • Platform Integration – massive challenge of synchronizing asset data across CMS (SLV), GIS, 311 (Salesforce.com) and Billing systems
  • Asset Integration – need to manage more than the 270,000 lighting assets to include the underlying electrical circuits and other devices (approximately 800,000 assets) to enable other related elements of work orders, such as targeted repair and/or replacement of poles and wiring to enhance fixture and system reliability
  • Resource Management – the crews (employees, contractors), fleets of trucks and schedules would need to be managed effectively based on priorities to improve productivity
  • Operational Efficiency – streetlight maintenance needed digital transformation to eschew paper forms, manual procedures, data entry and numerous sources of inefficiencies like duplicate service tickets and work orders

There is no doubt that emergency communications have been greatly enhanced by Internet and mobile technology, helping governments communicate instantly via web, Facebook and Twitter. But when it comes to catastrophic disasters, the network isn’t typically there when it’s needed most; and it certainly can’t be relied upon for all response and recovery efforts. That creates a bit of a paradox when it comes to leveraging the latest mobile technology in disaster response scenarios.

“TerraGo StreetlightOps has been an invaluable asset to our smart street lighting initiative in Chicago,” said David Reyes, City of Chicago. “By integrating our systems, we can work smarter in ways that were never before possible.  For example, by correlating service requests from citizens and system alerts, we can consolidate work orders, improve our response times and lower operations costs by reducing truck rolls.”

The Solution

In order to take on such a big project, the City of Chicago and lead contractor Ameresco looked to TerraGo’s low code, customizable mobile application, StreetlightOps.  StreetlightOps provides them with capabilities including workflow modules tailored for installation, maintenance, work order automation, billing integration, circuit & change management. With these capabilities, not only can crews easily track and maintain all streetlights in the field using any mobile device, but all of the data is synchronized with back office systems. TerraGo integrates with CMS API (Itron SLV) and effectively synchronizes data with billing, 311 (Salesforce.com) and GIS (ArcGIS), and extends the value of SLV features, like real-time control and more, to field crews, managers and other stakeholders.

“With TerraGo, we were able to restore over 120 “all outs” in one day due to having all of these systems integrated ” – David Reyes, City of Chicago

The Results

With the help of TerraGo StreetlightOps, the City of Chicago has been able to install hundreds of thousands of new LED light fixtures, streamline maintenance, increase safety, reduce energy costs and improve the environment. The Smart Lighting Program has been aided in its success by TerraGo’s software allowing them to deploy and maintain networked lighting systems more efficiently, producing a clear, measurable return on investment. As the program transitions into Phase 4B, more than 251,000 LED lights have been installed and the project has met or exceeded its ambitious schedule and the delivery of over $10 million per year in savings. In recognition of this work, the project and all of its participating partner companies were awarded a Smart 50 Award, as well.

Specific operational benefits include:

  • Automated consolidation and de-duplication of work orders
  • Proactive outage restoration work orders
  • Geographic distribution of tickets based on proximity
  • More efficient and priority ticket routing
  • Automated the creation of Salesforce ticket numbers
  • Provides geospatial view of outages and restoration work
  • Advanced routing reduces drive time and increases repairs
  • Automatic field updates to circuitry, location and condition
  • Self-healing data for all back office systems with field updates
  • Receive mobile failure alerts with work orders
  • Eliminates paper-based operations and reduces delays