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Donnerstag, 25.02.2021
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Erie's secure smart city project is the recipient of a $500,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) POWER Grant, Mayor Joe Schember announced Thursday.

The project, launched in 2018, is designed to make the City of Erie a safer and smarter city by installing high efficiency LED lighting, cameras and free public Wi-Fi.

Mayor Schember says the funding announced Thursday will provide financial support for the project to expand to Erie's eight Opportunity Zones. The original footprint of the project was from Perry Square south along State Street to 12th Street.

Erie was chosen as the grant recipient based on the early success of the secure smart city project, according to Schember.

The project expansion will benefit neighborhoods in the eight Opportunity Zones. Schember says it will help drive economic growth by supporting existing businesses, providing access and information to businesses and residents, and improve the quality of life for neighborhood residents. It will also provide timely information to residents, including news headlines and safety updates.

The mayor also said the high tech transformation will attract more people and businesses to the Opportunity Zones.

VNET has begun installing Wi-Fi access points on the first 30 structures identified in Opportunity Zone 1. The company is looking looking for approximately 130 more businesses in Opportunity Zones to house additional access points. Mayor Schember and VNET are urging businesses that received letters earlier this year to reach out to them so they can be added to the list.

In addition to the expanded free Wi-Fi network, the grant will allow Penelec to update 2,300 of Erie's high pressure sodium street lights to energy efficient LED lighting.

Schember says the new lighting will save the city $40,000 per year.

The LED lighting will be installed in all eight Opportunity Zones, including downtown and along the bayfront.

The lights will be equipped with a Wi-Fi card to allow them to "talk" to each other and provide information to a control center through a wireless network. Rather than a typical photo cell's ability to simply turn lights on and off by sensing darkness or daylight, this will allow Penelec to be notified of burned out lights, whether or not lights are running at proper voltage, or if a light is stuck on all day. Currently, Penelec relies on residents to notify them of problems.

The LED lighting will also allow specific lights to be brightened, such as outside bars and theaters for safety, or dimmed for special events like fireworks.

A Penelec spokesperson says about 20-30 lights per day are being updated with about 700 completed thus far.


Quelle/Source: Erie News Now, 04.02.2021

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