Mazarrón Country Club - Street Light Project
The following article is a short account of the process involved in upgrading the ageing and inefficient 150-Watt Sodium light bulbs to the modern, efficient and aesthetically pleasing LED lights which we now enjoy here on Mazarrón Country Club.
Mazarrón Country Club is now approaching 20 years old and during that time there have been substantial improvements in many of the things used in our daily lives. As the need for ever more efficient products has grown, particularly in how we use energy, Mazarrón Country Club had arrived at the point in time where changes were necessary in order to reduce the high energy and maintenance costs of our streetlights.
In the past many CofO Board members and Owners had discussed the need to address the problems associated with the streetlights and looked for solutions to the problem. Proposals had been made to turn off every other streetlight or to reduce the streetlight’s power setting. None of the proposals ever received approval from the CofO Board or the Owners. The problem still remained, high energy bills and high maintenance costs!
During the AGM of March 31 2017 a proposal, to reduce the 150-Watt installed Sodium bulbs to the lower consumption 100-Watt Sodium bulbs, was accepted by the Owners. In this proposal the amount of €30,000 was made available to make this change happen.
The new CofO Board started to investigate the most cost-effective option for replacing the 150-Watt Sodium bulbs and looked at the lower energy 100-Watt Sodium bulbs as an alternative. Soon it appeared that replacing these Sodium bulbs would also require a change of the ballast unit of each streetlight. The cost of this bulb change amounted to a total of at least €150,000 or €225,000 including the streetlight housing. By continuing the use of Sodium bulbs the maintenance cost would appear approximately every 5 years requiring an additional cost of €19,000 per year to be allocated to the maintenance budget. Although this change would have resulted in an energy saving of roughly 30% it was prohibitively expensive and was decided not to be the solution we needed.
As an alternative to the AGM approved 100-Watt Sodium bulb change the CofO Board evaluated other options and arrived at a solution that is currently used by many cities i.e. LED lights. The two main advantages of LED lights are lower power consumption and higher reliability. A 70% power consumption reduction could be achieved and a huge reduction of the annual MCC streetlight maintenance cost of €19,000. The numbers involved made this option look very attractive indeed.
Initially the process of supplier selection started with, in total, 8 suppliers reduced to 3 and then to 2 and due to a late offer from a new supplier, back again to 3. The investment cost was estimated at €230,000, resulting in a return of investment period of roughly 5 years.
During the 2018 AGM the CofO Board proposed to change the old 150-Watt streetlights consuming (150 Watts + 9%) for the LED streetlights of 40 Watts, requiring an investment of €230,000.
The 40-Watt LED lights produced an equivalent light output of a 100-Watt Sodium bulb and so the 40-Watt LED was deemed by the CofO Board to be a satisfactory replacement.
The 2018 AGM resulted in many questions and answers. Because of the uncertainty in the final costs associated with this project the board offered to organise an EGM for when the supplier negotiations were finalised and more clarity could be given about the LED streetlight alternative. The AGM voting resulted in the Owners giving their conditional approval of the new LED streetlight proposal pending further investigation of the costs involved.
Final supplier selection
In order to get the best deal for the MCC the method of asking for the “best and final offer” from the remaining 3 suppliers was used. This approach resulted in 2 suppliers sticking to their initial offer but one of the suppliers, Philips Lighting Spain, lowering their “turnkey” offer dramatically to €113,000 (incl. IVA). The return of investment period changed from 5 years to roughly 2.5 years. This was a substantial improvement that would benefit all of the MCC residents. The CofO Board still had to get approval from the owners to make it a reality. As many of you know, it is notoriously difficult to get approval for spending large amounts of money at an AGM of owners.
There was a delay in organising the 2018 EGM due to a combination of the difficulties and potentially high cost of the lighting project and, added to which our maintenance sensitive sewage system was also creating a cause for financial concern that year.
During the 2018 EGM the results of the “best and final offer” process, and “turnkey” offer by Philips Lighting Spain, was explained to the Owners. Additionally, the offer included a colour temperature of 4000K. This colour temperature is warmer than day light because daylight LED lighting tends to be blue.
Note: The Board received many messages from owners about the fear of possible sleep deprivation caused by the 4000K LED's so a decision was made to change from the 4000K to the 3000K version LED lights. It was thought that this change would alleviate owners anxieties about sleep problems caused by the colour of the light.
The 2018 EGM approved the Board’s proposal, and the street lighting project could now finally proceed.
LED streetlight installation
The installation was performed as a “turnkey” operation, meaning that Philips organised all aspects of the installation, removal and destruction of the old streetlight heads, transport and installation. The Board also included in the supplier negotiations a trial installation. For this trial the Board selected 4 representative streets for a nightly evaluation. This evaluation resulted in the need to increase from 40-Watt to 60-Watt LED lights at the roundabouts and the Avenida Victoria for greater visibility and safety. Additionally, the 60-Watt lights at the roundabouts were tilted upwards for better illumination of the road.
The MCC activities at this final stage were limited to co-ordination, inspection and sign-off of the installation.