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Traffic Technology Today

NY Town of Lancaster invests in safe backup power system for traffic signals

The Town of Lancaster in New York is partnering with Viridi Parente to install the first of several instantaneous backup systems for the town’s traffic intersections. This program will ensure that Lancaster’s busiest intersections maintain a resilient, uninterrupted supply of power.

The Volta FAVEO Traffic System is a roadway intersection backup power system that uses safe lithium-ion battery technology from Viridi’s subsidiary, Volta Energy Products. It was recently installed at the intersection of William Street and Aurora Street in Lancaster town. This site was selected because it experiences some of the town’s heaviest traffic flows and backups, making it difficult to access local businesses during power outages. In the event of grid power interruptions, the Volta FAVEO system instantaneously powers up, enabling traffic lights, police cameras, and other critical intersection technology to continue operating. With this system, more emergency personnel will be able to provide essential public safety services instead of having to direct traffic.

“Viridi Parente’s technology will reduce carbon emissions by keeping traffic in the town moving efficiently, says Town of Lancaster supervisor Ron Ruffino. “It will also keep drivers, pedestrians and emergency personnel safe by ensuring our traffic lights continue working no matter the weather. The Town of Lancaster plans to install FAVEO systems at another seven intersections over the next year.”

A similar system being piloted in the Town of Amherst was installed in April 2021.

Traffic signal lights are essential in the prevention of accidents. The NY Department of Health reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injury-related death for New York residents.

Another important consequence of inefficient traffic signaling caused by power outages is the elevated air pollution resulting from increased congestion. According to the US Department of Energy, idling a vehicle for more than just 10 seconds burns more fuel and produces more emissions than turning off and restarting the engine.

“With transportation contributing about 36% of the carbon emissions in New York State, having a finely tuned traffic management system is essential for creating a safer, healthier community,” says Jon M Williams, chairman and CEO of Viridi Parente. “The Volta FAVEO system helps communities achieve their decarbonization goals by maintaining the smooth flow of traffic, even during a power outage.”

Volta’s FAVEO system can operate in extreme temperatures, has a waterproof steel casing, and is maintenance-free − all features that further enhance signal resiliency during severe weather events and increasingly present grid challenges. With an anticipated cost reduction of 52% for lithium-ion battery technology by 2030, Volta’s FAVEO system is an affordable long-term option for the Town of Lancaster to provide reliable power to its traffic signals and all related technology.