ATLANTIC CITY — The city will upgrade nearly 9,000 of its streetlights to LED bulbs.

Mayor Don Guardian signed an agreement with Atlantic City Electric to upgrade 5,683 streetlights at no cost to the city, according to an announcement Friday.

The conversion will cost $750,000, which is part of a $2 million grant the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities awarded the city to fund the design and implementation of LED technology citywide, the statement said.

“This project is part of a concerted effort to provide better lighting in our neighborhoods and to improve public safety throughout the city,” Guardian said.

BPU President Richard S. Mroz said the project “will greatly improve lighting, make the community safer and produce significant energy cost saving for the city.” He added, “Energy efficiency projects like this also reduce demands on the grid, which help to lower electric costs for all ratepayers.”

Mroz said the BPU is working with utilities and municipalities to upgrade street lighting statewide.

The project includes all streetlights owned by Atlantic City Electric. Atlantic City will be the first major city to convert entirely to LED technology, the statement said.

Atlantic City Electric has ordered the equipment needed for the conversion project, which is expected to begin in late November.

A second phase of the project will convert an additional 3,283 city-owned lights. Atlantic City will participate in the NJ SmartStart energy-efficiency program for the second phase.

The remaining BPU grant money “will leverage the conversion of city-owned streetlights,” the statement said.

Atlantic City budgets $2 million annually to power its streetlights. The LED conversion should reduce this cost, the statement said.

Last week, Hammonton began upgrading 1,449 streetlights to LED bulbs using funding from NJ SmartStart.

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