Birmingham lights up

20 December 2010

Amey chooses Telensa for the Birmingham Highways PFI project
Amey chooses Telensa for the Birmingham Highways PFI project

Amey chooses Telensa for the Birmingham Highways PFI project.

The partnership between Amey and Birmingham City Council is responsible for nearly 100,000 streetlights, and PLANet will be used to control their switching and dimming.

It is anticipated that the use of PLANet will help reduce energy usage by 40% compared to conventional street lighting.

Telensa has announced that Amey has chosen its PLANet system to support the 25-year, £2.7bn Birmingham Highways maintenance and management service. Telensa’s initial five-year contract is worth £4m.

The Highways partnership between Amey and Birmingham City Council is responsible for nearly 100,000 streetlights as well as roads, bridges and tunnels.

PLANet will be used on all new and existing streetlights to control their switching and dimming; it will also monitor the performance of each light on a daily basis. From Amey’s operations centre, Telensa’s PLANet system communicates with all the lights using advanced wireless technology.

Telensa’s PLANet (Public Lighting Active Network) system comprises telecell units installed on individual streetlights, which connect into the system’s advanced, wide area wireless infrastructure. PLANet provides comprehensive features for accurately controlling lights’ switching and dimming, together with full energy measurement and fault detection capabilities. The system was conceived, implemented and introduced to the market by founding directors Tim Jackson and Will Gibson. It is supported by a Carbon Trust Applied Research grant to develop commercially viable low carbon technology with the potential to cut UK carbon emissions.

“The centrally managed control and monitoring of all the Birmingham street lights presents an enormous opportunity to improve their operating efficiency and deliver better street lighting to the people of Birmingham,” said Mike Notman, Amey Project Director for the Birmingham management and maintenance service. “The new LED street lights, in conjunction with Telensa’s PLANet system will be central in delivering the UK’s most advanced and efficient street lighting network, saving about 40% energy compared to conventional street lighting.”

Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, said: “As well as the significant environmental advantages of this work I have no doubt that the management of the LED street lights will also help to greatly improve the safety, security and the general environment of streets in the city.”

Will Gibson, Telensa’s Managing Director, added: “Amey’s selection of the PLANet system is an important milestone in Telensa’s emergence as leader in street lighting management. Amey have supported us over several years in the testing of the system and we are delighted to see it now being deployed at significant scale across Birmingham.”

Following a period of initial development, Plextek Ltd. spun out Telensa Ltd. early in 2010. Telensa's emphasis has been on addressing the needs of the street lighting industry, particularly in terms of functionality, reliability and cost-effectiveness. PLANet is the first solution of its kind that provides a range of control, monitoring and energy measurement suitable for a range of existing and new street lighting.

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