Plextek street light startup wins multimillion pound contract
A spin out from Cambridge consultancy Plextek has won a multimillion pound contract for its technology for the control, monitoring and energy measurement of street lights.
Telensa only started this year after a period of development inside Plextek, and its PLANet system has been chosen by maintenance group Amey to support a 25 year, £2.7bn project in Birmingham. Telensa’s initial five-year contract is worth £4m.
PLANet will be used on all new and existing streetlights to control their switching and dimming; it will also monitor the performance of each light on a daily basis. From Amey’s operations centre, Telensa’s PLANet system communicates with nearly 100,000 streetlights across the city using wireless technology.
It uses ‘telecell’ units installed on individual street lights which connect into the system’s wide area wireless infrastructure. The system was conceived, implemented and introduced to the market by founding directors Tim Jackson and Will Gibson, both experienced in the development of new wireless systems and bringing them to market. It is supported by a Carbon Trust Applied Research grant to develop commercially viable low carbon technology with the potential to cut UK carbon emissions.
“The centrally managed control and monitoring of all the Birmingham street lights presents an enormous opportunity to improve their operating efficiency and deliver better street lighting to the people of Birmingham,” said Mike Notman, Amey Project Director for the Birmingham management and maintenance service. “The new LED street lights, in conjunction with Telensa’s PLANet system will be central in delivering the UK’s most advanced and efficient street lighting network, saving about 40% energy compared to conventional street lighting.”
“Amey’s selection of the PLANet system is an important milestone in Telensa’s emergence as leader in street lighting management”, said Will Gibson, Telensa’s founder ad Managing Director. “Amey have supported us over several years in the testing of the system and we are delighted to see it now being deployed at significant scale across Birmingham.”
Nick Flaherty has been covering technology and startups since 1990 and is based in Bristol, where he co-founded the SiliconSouthWest network. During that time he has worked for most of the electronics magazines and newspapers in the UK and several in Europe and the US, covering all areas of the industry. He blogs at The Embedded blogwww.embeddedblog.blogspot.com and Portable Multimediawww.portablemultimedia.blogspot.com and at www.flaherty.co.uk.