Orion Energy Systems’ exterior lighting wins gold at Plant Engineering awards

Fluorescent technology designed to reduce energy consumption, costs by 50 percent in outdoor applications

MANITOWOC, Wis. — March 31, 2010 — Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OESX) was awarded first place in the lighting category at the Plant Engineering Product of the Year Awards held Monday.

Introduced in 2009, Orion’s exterior lighting uses fluorescent technology to reduce energy consumption and costs by 50 percent when compared to high-intensity discharge lighting traditionally used to illuminate parking lots and other outdoor areas after dark.

In a reader vote by plant managers and other Plant Engineering magazine readers, Orion’s exterior technology was selected over Cooper Lighting’s LED exterior fixture for the gold award. Winners were announced in an awards ceremony during the publication’s annual manufacturing summit in Chicago.

“We’re honored to receive a top award from Plant Engineering magazine for the second year in a row,” said Orion CEO Neal Verfuerth. “The fact that the publication’s readers selected our Apollo® solar light pipe as the Grand Award winner last year and our energy efficient exterior platform this year validates that plant managers recognize Orion as the energy-efficiency technology leader.”

Orion’s Apollo® solar light pipe harvests daylight and directs it to the work area of a facility using no electricity. Readers of Plant Engineering selected the technology for the awards’ highest honor as 2008’s Product of the Year Grand Award.

Coca-Cola Enterprises installed the award-winning exterior technology at its Milwaukee, Wis., facility after technology demonstrations revealed that Orion’s 100-watt exterior fluorescent fixture provided 144 percent more light than the company’s existing 400-watt high-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures and 1,718% more light than competing 111-watt LED fixtures.

Orion’s technology delivered 5 foot-candles, in contrast to the existing HIDs’ 2.05 foot-candles. The competing LED technology actually produced lower light levels at .275 foot-candles. Coca-Cola Enterprises will reduce their energy costs by 66%, or 91,655 kilowatt hours, and reduce their carbon emissions by 60 tons per year using Orion’s new technology.

In another test site at a Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., Orion’s 220-watt technology increased light levels 50 percent on average, measuring 17 foot-candles in comparison to 8 foot-candles from the existing 400-watt HID technology, and 5 foot-candles from the competing LED technology.

Some of the other companies experiencing significant energy savings as a result of deploying Orion’s exterior technology include:

U.S. Foodservice, Las Vegas, Nev.

Annual cost savings: 58%

Annual energy savings: 157,568 kilowatt-hours (kWh)

Annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction: 103 tons

Kraft Foods, Granite City, Ill.

Annual cost savings: 52%

Annual energy savings: 157,501 kWh

Annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction: 103 tons

PreFlight Airport Parking, Philadelphia, Pa.

Annual cost savings: 49%

Annual energy savings: 47,511 kWh

Annual carbon dioxide emissions reduction: 31 tons

The energy reductions created by Orion’s exterior technology can have a staggering effect on the environment and the economy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are more than 20 million parking lot lights nationwide, of which only 4 percent utilize energy-efficient fluorescent technology. As a result, parking lot lights alone consume approximately 22.2 billion kilowatt-hours annually, which could be reduced by half using Orion’s technology.

The reduction would decrease carbon dioxide emission by nearly 7.3 million tons annually — the air-scrubbing equivalent of a 2 million-acre forest, or like removing 1.7 million cars from the road, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The savings also would equate to saving nearly 1 billion gallons of gas every year

Orion’s technology has been rigorously tested to ensure high performance in all weather conditions, and has earned an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listing for wet location, meaning the fixture showed no leaks when subjected to rain and snow.

Orion’s exterior technology is constructed of coated, galvanized steel and welded together to create a sealed interior to keep the lamps and ballasts free from moisture, dirt and bugs typically found in other technologies. The fixture features a proprietary, one-piece gasket that keeps unwanted elements from the ballast and lamps.

The lamps are protected by a polycarbonate lens that is impact resistant, reducing the threat of breakage and added maintenance costs to replace the broken lamps.

The fluorescent lamps provide a crisp, bright light that illuminates space more efficiently than the orange-tinted HIDs. And the fluorescent platform does not depreciate as quickly as HID, LED or induction technology, which can depreciate up to 30 percent, compared to Orion’s technology that depreciates only up to 7 percent during its lifetime.

Orion has deployed its energy management systems in 5,374 facilities across North America, including 123 of the Fortune 500 companies. Since 2001, Orion technology has displaced more than 504 megawatts, saving customers more than $782 million and reducing indirect carbon dioxide emissions by 6.7 million tons.

Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OESX) is a leading power technology enterprise that designs, manufactures and implements energy management systems, consisting primarily of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting platforms, intelligent wireless control systems and direct renewable solar technology for commercial and industrial customers without compromising their operations.

Filed under: Outdoor Lighting