Ameresco: Chicago and Toronto

Ameresco is one of the world’s leading energy efficiency and renewable energy firms. When the company was awarded the Chicago smart streetlight project, the largest city-led program in US history, they turned to TerraGo Streetlights for the mobile field applications to get the job done. Being used to install over a quarter-million smart streetlights in Chicago, TerraGo Streetlights is helping Ameresco complete installations faster, reduce errors and lower maintenance costs.

Ameresco and TerraGo’s collaboration also resulted in a 2018 Smart 50 Award for the Richmond Hill (Toronto), Ontario project, where the field application enabled auto-commissioning with Itron’s Streetlight.Vision central management system and slashed average commissioning times from 2 days to under 2 minutes.

Quick Summary

Challenge:

  • Manual, error-prone workflows
  • Outdated field software
  • Installation and configuration errors
  • Re-rolling trucks to correct issues
  • Lack of automated commissioning

Solution

  • Cloud-based field app
  • Integrated with Streetlight.Vision
  • Configurable workflows
  • Data validation and error-checking
  • Auto-commissioning at location

Results

  • Commissioning from 2 days to 2 minutes
  • Project on-time and on-plan
  • Cut return trips by over 90%
  • Energy and CO2 savings
  • Smart city network

The Challenge

Ameresco is deploying the the largest city-led wireless smart street light program in the U.S., and will connect more than 250,000 street light fixtures across Chicago, using Itron’s Streetlight.Vision (SLV) central management system (CMS). Likewise, Richmond Hill (Toronto), Ontario selected Ameresco to convert approximately 13,000 high-pressure sodium lights to networked-LED luminaires. Both projects represent massive energy savings for these smart cities, while the SLV network provides a platform for future smart city applications.

The challenges for these projects are multi-faceted. Field applications need to be configurable to the project’s unique requirements, easy to use in the field and seamlessly integrated with the CMS network. In the past, a collection of paper-based processes and legacy software solutions introduced cumbersome workflows, installation errors, return trips and ultimately expensive delays, slowing the realization of the anticipated energy savings and network features.

"We’ve been consistently impressed with the TerraGo Streetlights application and the company’s great technical support. The streetlight application was used every day on our Richmond Hill project, and because of the reliability of the application, we were able to reduce installation times, prevent errors and automate the commissioning process with Streetlight Vision. The number of customizable features that TerraGo Streetlights offers made it look, feel and work just like an Ameresco app, with the advantage of not having to build it ourselves. TerraGo made a direct positive impact on the project’s installation success and contributed greatly to our selection for the Smart 50 Award." - Ben Chadbourne, Project Coordinator, Ameresco Canada

The Solution

TerraGo provided a cloud-based, device installation and maintenance platform, integrated with Itron’s Streetlight.Vision CMS. Ameresco used this platform to configure a custom deployment application, including custom workflows and an Ameresco mobile app for crew iPads.

This solution automated the commissioning process thus eliminating common errors and return trips to correct issues that otherwise were detected “after the fact” when relying on legacy batch commissioning.

“We’re honored that our Richmond Hill project was selected for the Smart 50 Award. This extensive retrofit project included converting nearly 13,000 lights to energy efficient LEDs and deploying a smart lighting control system. It provided significant benefits including smart lighting and a communications network, and utilized a new TerraGo Streetlight deployment application. The application helped to reduce installation times and automate the commissioning process with the Smart City software, Streetlight Vision.” – Bob McCullough, President, Ameresco Canada

The Results

TerraGo helped reduce average commissioning times from 2 days to under 2 minutes. With greater efficiency and data validation “on the spot”, TerraGo helped reduce the need to re-roll trucks to correct issues.

With deployment, these projects cut energy costs by 50-75%. The economics and benefits of the smart street light network approach help achieve cost savings and sustainability-driven initiatives and goals. The Itron Streetlight.Vision provides a network platform for smart city applications that will improve the safety and quality of citizen life. Among numerous benefits, the smart street light infrastructure will be integrated into Chicago’s 311 system.

“With TerraGo Streetlights, we were able to reduce installation times, prevent errors and automate commissioning with Streetlight.Vision. TerraGo really made a direct impact on the project’s success and ultimately it winning the Smart 50 Award.” - Ben Chadbourne, Project Coordinator, Ameresco Canada.