Pastore Complex exterior LED lighting project to save Rhode Island $176K per year

Published Date
December 2020

Howard ave

Howard Ave. Intersection — Lighting this busy intersection, which sees a great deal of foot traffic, will allow drivers to see pedestrians, including people walking across the field to and from the bus stops. 

In June 2020, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER), Department of Administration (DOA), Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) and Department of Corrections (DOC) completed a collaborative project to upgrade the exterior lighting at the John O. Pastore Complex to current LED technology. The project will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 811 tons, equivalent to removing 159 vehicles from the road for one year, on average. 

Much of site’s exterior lighting had reached the end of its useful life, making this an opportune time for an upgrade. Improving the infrastructure, however, was just one of the project goals. The energy and maintenance cost savings of this large-scale project will be significant, as will reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Equally important is improved security resulting from increased and better-focused illumination across the complex. Finally, the project also upgraded the lighting of the outdoor prison exercise yards, improving conditions for both the inmates and security personnel.

The Pastore Complex, located in Cranston, covers approximately 325 acres of land and includes thirty-five buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet of floor space. It is home to a variety of state government agencies, including the Department of Motor Vehicles; Department of Labor & Training; Department of Business Regulation; Executive Offices of Health & Human Services; Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals; Department of Human Services; Healthcare Exchange; Office of the Child Advocate; Governor’s Commission on Disabilities; Fire Code Appeals Board; Labor Hearing Board; Traffic Tribunal; Parole Board; Department of Corrections; Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner; Department of Children, Youth & Families; and the Eleanor Slater Hospital Network. 

The Solution

The project was designed and installed under the auspices of the OER’s Lead by Example Program.  OER also committed Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds to support project financing, leveraged with energy efficiency program incentives and technical assistance delivered through the electric distribution utility. Throughout the process, OER worked closely with Rethinking Power Management (RPM), an engineering consultant, as well as with DOA, DOC and DCAMM to incorporate economic, environmental and safety goals. 

To begin, RPM developed a lighting plan. The plan defined replacement equipment, equipment locations, installation instructions for each fixture, additional fixture requirements, and repair opportunities. Rise Engineering, a Rhode Island company with years of lighting expertise, was selected as the installation contractor following a competitive bid process led by the state’s Division of Purchasing.

DCAMM headed a multi-agency management team for the installation portion of the project; RPM facilitated the process and weekly meetings. To start, the team refined the lighting plan and process for installation. Once products were approved and received, samples of each fixture type were vetted with the appropriate agency to ensure the design met expectations. From there, the team addressed questions and issues as the project moved forward. 

Ultimately, approximately 1,100 fixture upgrades were completed – including street and walkway lighting, wall-packs, parking lot lighting, and flood lighting. 


Response from agencies across the campus has been tremendous.

“The entire project was very well managed and the results are beneficial to our operations. Perimeter and parking patrols have commented on the overall brightness of both areas. Many thanks to all involved in this project.”  – Joe Costanzo, RI Department of Children, Family & Youth

“The upper parking lot is so much more visible. Great job.” – Dave Cannon, DOC

“You have improved the yard lighting by 100%.” – Captain Anthony Atella, DOC


The project will provide economic and environmental benefits for years to come. The project is estimated to reduce annual energy consumption by 1,040,205 kWh, thereby generating approximately $176,800 in electricity cost savings. Moreover, these installations will help reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 811 tons, equivalent to removing 159 vehicles from the road for one year, on average. 

From a project financing perspective, OER’s $283,563 commitment in RGGI funds was leveraged with $333,000 in utility-administered energy efficiency incentives.  The net cost to the State - $283,563 – will be paid back through energy savings in just two years. 

The Pastore Complex LED lighting project will also enhance security and improve comfort for all who work there, live there or visit – improvements that will last years into the future. These include:

• Improved safety and security for campus occupants

• Better illumination across the complex

• Streamlined inventory requirements

• Extended hours for outdoor recreation at the correctional facilities

• Reduced vandalism

Based on its cost-effectiveness and other myriad benefits, additional improvements at the site and across the state are being considered.