SSROC and Ausgrid shine bright with Australia’s largest street lighting upgrade

The Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (SSROC) and 29 local councils are working with Ausgrid to deliver Australia’s largest and most advanced smart street lighting upgrade.

Ausgrid, street lighting service provider to the councils, is deploying new smart street lights on main roads throughout the council areas, and currently working in Canterbury Bankstown, Georges River, Strathfield and Canada Bay.

Over the next three years, more than 62,000 street lights on main roads across the region will be upgraded with energy efficient LEDs and smart controls.

The smart controls are being added to the street lights on main roads to help detect faults, optimise maintenance, measure energy use and facilitate off-peak dimming in the future. The lights will also be able to accommodate future smart city sensors.

Ausgrid, in conjunction with SSROC and councils, has already upgraded some 205,000 street lights across metro Sydney, the Central Coast and the Hunter areas with LEDs. This is the largest LED deployment in Australia. When the latest phase is complete in 2026, the rollout will to exceed 240,000 lights.

As a result of the upgrades, the total energy consumption of Ausgrid-managed street lights will be cut by 62% to about 48,000 MWhr/yr in 2026. Councils may be able to go even further in cutting energy consumption if they can implement off-peak dimming over the coming years.

The SSROC Ausgrid program has already received industry wide recognition, winning the sustainable infrastructure category in the 2023 LGNSW Excellence in the Environment Awards. The awards recognise outstanding initiatives that integrate environmental and sustainable practices into the design, construction or management of community buildings and infrastructure.

SSROC President and Burwood Mayor, Cr John Faker, said the SSROC and local council-led project is yielding many positive benefits for the environment and local economies.

“Councils in the SSROC SLI Program are already saving their communities millions of dollars per year by having widely deployed LED street lights and this latest upgrade program will further reduce costs by around $3 million per year,” Cr Faker said.

“Perhaps, most importantly, we are achieving these significant savings while simultaneously improving the lighting for our residents, making our roads safer and dramatically cutting energy consumption.”

SSROC CEO, Helen Sloan, said the project will be a major shift in the lighting of main roads.

“We’ll be moving to lights that will provide noticeably better quality lighting on our main roads,” Ms Sloan said.

“These lights will improve safety, be smarter, more reliable and have ports for smart city sensors to help councils to plan and deliver better community services in the future. 

“We understand that this latest phase, with the ability of the main road lights to support smart city sensors, is one of the largest projects of its type in the world.” 

The lights being installed on main roads are built to accommodate smart city sensors using a new global lighting industry standard called Zhaga Book 18. Councils are interested in putting sensors on street lights that would deliver better traffic and pedestrian counts, monitor the climate, monitor for pollutants and detect high noise levels.

Heinrich Thye, Secretary General of the international Zhaga Consortium, has praised the SSROC Ausgrid initiative. “The Ausgrid SSROC project is one of the largest smart lighting deployments of its kind in the world. Adopting a Zhaga-based approach is turning every street lighting into a platform for low-cost smart city sensor deployment. Enhancing the capabilities of street lighting to support sensors ensures that this deployment will be truly future proof.”