CPS Energy, the nation’s largest municipally owned electric and natural gas provider based in San Antonio, is announcing a new agreement it has entered with the City of San Antonio, AT&T, and Itron, to implement a pilot for Smart Streetlight Technology. This pilot will leverage CPS Energy’s existing lighting infrastructure and is just one more example of how the utility continues to establish itself as a forward-thinking energy provider that is eager to test global ideas that create helpful local solutions. This joint effort aligns with SmartSA – which is a consortium of partners comprised of CPS Energy, the City of San Antonio, and other local entities with the goal of leveraging data and technology to build a connected, inclusive, and resilient community that supports high quality of life.
As part of their Flexible Path SM, CPS Energy has thoughtfully positioned itself as an integral partner in San Antonio’s journey toward evolving its Smart City Strategy. To accomplish this, the utility has focused on securing relationships with global technology leaders that deliver new products, efficiencies, and solutions for their customers and community. The utility continually looks for new organizations to team with to bring innovative and technologically sound ideas that propel San Antonio further into the emerging and global Smart City era.
“At CPS Energy, we believe great collaborators are key to implementing game-changing Smart City solutions,” said Paula Gold-Williams, President & CEO of CPS Energy. “This approach and new initiative are parts of our creative and broader Flexible Path Strategy, through which we embrace change and disruption, while contributing to the global energy evolution that is already well underway. Despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, we remain focused on moving our industry and our community forward. The project that we are announcing today is another great example of how the right collaborations will help the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy create viable solutions to convert the challenges of developing a Smart City into new opportunities for success. Both AT&T and Itron are respected global technology leaders, and we are proud to be entering into this strategic relationship together.”
As part of this SmartSA agreement, CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio launched a smart streetlight sensor pilot program. Smart streetlight sensors can provide near real-time operational performance of the utility’s assets, while enhancing service levels for their customers. Additionally, the City of San Antonio will leverage these smart streetlights to test sensors focused on the following:
- Air Quality,
- Ambient Noise,
- Parking, and
The goal is to evaluate the performance of sensing technology that can be attached to CPS Energy’s existing and more efficient LED lighting systems. The evaluation will include data analysis to help us determine how to use it best to serve our broader community and align with the City’s Climate Action & Adaptation Plan (CAAP) and ozone attainment goals. Aligned to its on-going commitment to its customers, CPS Energy and SmartSA will also prioritize the importance of protecting the privacy rights of the public as it works on this and future Smart City initiatives.
The pilot program includes the installation of smart streetlight solutions in each of the three SmartSA Innovation Zones that include the following San Antonio regions:
- Brooks City-Base, a 1,000-plus acre mixed-use community developed at the former Brooks Air Force Base; and
- The Medical Center, which is home to 12 major hospitals, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and numerous medical clinics and practices.
“The launch of the Smart Streetlight Technology pilot program is one of the most exciting announcements to come down the pike in a long time,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “I am looking forward to seeing the results from the Innovation Zones. The possibilities – ranging from energy savings to valuable data collection that will inform city services – are extraordinary.”
“This initiative highlights what our SmartSA partnership with CPS Energy can achieve when we come together to solve community challenges,” said Erik Walsh, San Antonio City Manager. “The City of San Antonio is taking a data-driven approach to addressing city-wide issues, and the environmental data these sensors will produce can help us meet our Climate Action and ozone attainment goals. We are excited to collaborate with technology leaders AT&T and Itron on this initiative that will move our smart city strategy forward.”
The Innovation Zones were established in 2017 by the San Antonio City Council to test new technologies. In 2019, San Antonio residents completed an Innovation Zone Survey and identified environmental quality, pedestrian safety and traffic congestion as challenges in the zones. Implementing pilots in these zones is the first steps towards acquiring data and developing practical solutions.
AT&T and Itron will each install smart streetlight sensors in all three Innovation Zones on up to fifteen streetlights in each Zone for a total of 45 streetlights. These sensors will include remote lighting controls and up to five “smart” use case applications: parking sensing, air quality, temperature, ambient noise, and flood sensing. The first sensors were installed in the Brooks Innovation Zone by Itron, and AT&T will install its sensors soon.
“As a smart cities leader, AT&T is committed to delivering impactful solutions that help cities address the issues facing their communities,” said JD Salinas, assistant vice president, AT&T External Affairs. “We’re helping communities by connecting things like utility meters, streetlights and water systems – adding connectivity to help transform how cities serve their citizens, use energy and preserve natural resources. Communities that are contemplating or planning investing in innovative solutions can learn from those who have successfully implemented their own. By taking a programmatic approach, cities can optimize technology investments to create more efficient, safe and sustainable communities.”
“We are proud to take part in this collaborative and innovative smart city program that leverages Itron’s smart streetlight solution and partner ecosystem applications. Through this partnership, CPS Energy and the City of San Antonio can unlock efficiencies and build a foundation for smarter city services, while improving the quality of life for all residents,” said, John Marcolini, senior vice president of Networked Solutions at Itron.
Results from the six-month streetlight pilot will be evaluated in the Summer of 2021. Lessons learned will help shape a path towards citywide deployment and serve as the first of many steps toward San Antonio’s Smart City goals.