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Solar-powered lights debut in Northern Liberties
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Solar-powered lights debut in Northern Liberties

This pilot project was due to funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development

Two blocks in Northern Liberties are being powered by the sun.

The 400 & 500 blocks of North 2nd Street are carbon-free with solar-powered and easily installed fixtures called the First Light Technology IPL series, a first-of-its-kind pilot project within city limits. Northern Liberties Business Improvement District (NLBID) received a $54,016 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for a pilot program, testing the viability of a potential larger-scale installation.

The solar-powered light fixtures are mounted on poles, without requiring conduit trenching which makes them easy to install and uninstall and reduces the cost. The all-in-one fixture head includes the solar panel, battery, and luminaire in one compact and attractive box. 

Northern Liberties

The lights were installed in November 2022 on these two blocks due to pedestrian traffic connecting Old City and Northern Liberties. There are over 750 new apartments permitted in this two-block stretch, making it an important area for pedestrians ad biking.

“We had looked into installing the Spring City lamps which you see along other commercial corridors like Old City, South Street, and Manayunk, but they were prohibitively expensive at about a million dollars per block,” said NLBID executive director Kristine Kennedy. “Solar can’t work everywhere, but we will look for every opportunity to better light our streets and this is a new tool in the toolbox,” added Kennedy.


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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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