About the Author
Mark Richardson is a multimedia journalist, editor and writer who has worked in digital, print and broadcast media for three decades. He is a nationally recognized editor and reporter who has covered government, politics and the environment. A journalism graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he was recently awarded a Foundation for Investigative Journalism grant and has three Associated Press Managing Editors awards for excellence in reporting.
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Austin Energy automates streetlight system
Austin Energy has automated all of its 56,000 streetlights and made them Dark Sky compliant. The Austin area is now one of only a few in the country where the streetlights are both automated and Dark Sky compliant. The electric utility has converted more than 13,000 of the streetlights to light-emitting diode technology. The LED lights can save more than 4.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually and eliminate the emission of about 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Dark Sky initiative removed globe fixtures that scatter light and replaced them with flat-glass fixtures, which concentrate light downward and prevent it from dissipating up into the night sky. Each streetlight is fitted with a wireless photocell to relay its condition to AE constantly, eliminating the need for patrol crews to monitor the system.
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