Shawnee to purchase streetlights from Evergy, convert to LED fixtures

Shawnee will following neighboring municipalities in the area and purchase streetlights from the utility with plans to convert them to LED fixtures. Photo credit Paul Sableman. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Shawnee is planning to purchase streetlight installation in the city from Evergy, the electrical utility, and convert them to LED fixtures.

The city council made first steps in October 2019 to enter negotiations with Evergy Metro Inc. (formerly Kansas City Power and Light) for the $3.25 million purchase of about 2,000 streetlights and begin the process of converting all city-owned streetlights to LED. The purchase required a change to the city’s charter ordinance first.

Shawnee is financing the project, which is part of the city’s Facility Conservation Improvement Program, through general obligation bonds, not to exceed $4,205,000.

Navitas, the city’s contractor handling the program, projected the LED upgrades to city streetlights will save an additional $90,000 over the term of the bond, according to city documents.

Other Johnson County cities have made similar changes and saved money in the process. In 2016, Prairie Village decided to buy its streetlights from KCP&L. Leasing the city’s lights cost Prairie Village nearly $750,000 a year. Prairie Village has reported saving $500,000 per year by purchasing its streetlights and converting to LED.

Members of the Shawnee city council on Monday shared their support for the initiative and potential cost savings.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the acquisition of streetlights and conversion to LED. Councilmember Kurt Knappen was absent.