All inefficient streetlights to be replaced with LED lights


Using a U.S. Department of the Interior grant awarded to the Commonwealth Utilities Corp., CUC is preparing to replace all high-pressure sodium streetlights that line CNMI roads with energy-efficient LED lights.

In his report to the CUC board on Monday, CUC executive director Gary P. Camacho said the project, called the CNMI Streetlight Efficiency Project, will start in the next few months or at the beginning of fiscal year 2020.

Using an $847,737 grant that the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs awarded CUC in 2018, the project will transform the CNMI’s road lighting system by replacing high-powered and inefficient sodium streetlights with LED lights.

Phase 1 of the project will focus on Tinian and Rota, Camacho said. Tinian will get 258 LED streetlights; Rota will get 561.

CUC’s Power Division estimates that the project will be completed in 209 working days.

As for Saipan, Camacho said the Power Division will address this through a proposal submittal known as Phase 2 of the CNMI Streetlight Efficient Project. The Power Division will submit a proposal in December 2019 as part of the DOI-semi-annual efficiency grant.

Power restoration efforts only apply to Saipan and Tinian as both islands were severely affected by Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation in October 2018, but the efficiency grant will also address Rota, Camacho said.

This grant, he said, will also replace all the high-pressure sodium streetlights on Rota with LED streetlights.

Camacho said all the assets needed for streetlights restoration are already on Saipan.

The U.S. Office of Insular Affairs awarded CUC the grant in 2018 to implement energy savings and cost-savings measures on its roadway lighting system.

Camacho said LED lights will require lower power use. “You can get 250 lumens out of 90 watts,” he said. That’s about two-thirds lower use of power compared to the sodium lamps.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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