Trafford reveals first solar hybrid streetlights in move to decarbonise

05 July 2023
Amey employees replacing a street light.
Trafford became one of the first local authorities in the country to install solar hybrid streetlights after five columns were installed on Woodbridge Road in Urmston.

Over 12 months, the new streetlights, which are supplied by Signify, will use 75% less energy than the LED streetlights which are the most used across the borough. Solar panels are located around the neck of the hybrid columns to absorb sunlight which convert to electric power stored in a battery. It also contains a mains supply serving as a back-up when no natural light is available.

The installation comes as Trafford Council are looking towards more sustainable solutions to the borough’s infrastructure.

Peter Mullen, the Streetlighting Supervisor at the One Trafford Partnership, said: “We conducted a nine-month trial in our depot with one of the solar hybrid street lights and it was really successful; it never skipped a beat. It is estimated that they will be able to run from natural sunlight entirely for nine months of each year so that is a huge impact. The installation went to plan, and it’s been absolutely fantastic to see the lights shining over Woodbridge Road.

“We’re always looking for the latest method to improve the energy efficiency of our streetlights and, with that in mind, work has already started to trial a fully-solar streetlight that has a PRI sensor built into it. Like we have with the solar hybrid streetlights, we will again trial one of these lights outside the depot with the view to putting some in the borough itself if successful. These only come on fully when someone is within 15 feet of it meaning a huge amount of energy is saved which, in turn, improves our carbon footprint”.

The council made ‘addressing the climate change’ one of their three main priorities in their corporate plan for 2021-2024, and this installation of solar hybrid streetlights is just one of many forward-thinking initiatives the council have led on since to rise to this challenge.

Councillor Stephen Adshead, Executive Member for Highways, Environmental & Traded Services, added his thoughts on the newly-installed solar hybrid streetlights, commenting: “It is incredible that our borough is one of the first in the country to have these solar hybrid streetlights in place and it reflects our commitment to our goal to make Trafford carbon neutral by 2038. What’s great is that we’re not stopping here - we’re already planning on trialling another type of streetlight which really shows how relentless we’re being in doing everything to make sure our streetlighting stock is as energy efficient as it can be”.

Dervan Alleyne, Director of Public and Sports Lighting Solutions at Signify UK&I, added: “At Signify, solar lighting is a key part of our commitment to sustainability as we innovate to help our customers move to cleaner technologies.

“We are proud to be part of this project, which will bring the Trafford Council closer to its vision of becoming carbon-neutral by 2038. Switching to solar-powered lighting could help local and public authorities reduce the reliance on energy from the grid and scale up the use of renewables while reducing their carbon footprint.

“Due to their ability to switch to the grid in the lack of UV irradiance, hybrid solar-powered lights are a feasible option for regions where sunshine may be less reliable. This installation also proves that solar power is seen as an important part of the UK’s energy mix – a positive step towards the UK’s net zero agenda.”

Just last month, it was announced that two dozen cutting-edge electric vehicle charge points will go live across Trafford throughout the summer. These ‘ultra rapid’ and ‘rapid charging’ points add to the already-existing 41 charging points across the region.

Last year One Trafford also introduced 17 electric vehicles to its fleet, which save nearly 21 tonnes of carbon per annum. For further information on how Trafford is tackling climate change please visit the dedicated webpage.