Crescent City Harbor District Success Story

CA_Crescent_City_Harbor_Dist_506_325x217.jpgLED upgrades are providing better lighting and saving energy at Crescent City Harbor District, said harbormaster Charles Helms (left). Helms is joined here by Pacific Power's Monte Mendenhall.

Hours after a powerful earthquake and massive tsunami devastated parts of Japan on March 11, 2011, tidal surges as much as 8 feet high slammed into the Crescent City Harbor District in northern California. The powerful waves destroyed the district’s Inner Boat Basin.

Predominantly a commercial fishing port, Crescent City Harbor is an economic engine for the community. Since the disaster, Crescent City Harbor has worked to rebuild the marina into a state-of-the-art facility that features modern amenities for both commercial fishers and recreational boaters.

As part of the rebuilding effort, the harbor district upgraded to LED lighting with help from Pacific Power’s wattsmart energy efficiency incentives.

“Good lighting is important for vessel owners and captains to rig their vessels with the proper gear and to inspect systems in port before returning to sea,” said Crescent City Harbormaster Charles Helms.

Upgrades solve lighting issues

Even before the tsunami, the harbor district had been experiencing lighting challenges. According to Helms, the high pressure sodium lights on the Inner Boat Basin’s high-mast light poles cast an orange hue onto the docks, making it difficult for fishing crews to clearly see what they are doing.

The lights also needed frequent replacement. This task became nearly impossible when the tsunami caused lowering mechanisms on two of the five poles to fail.

On advice from Pacific Power and Keith Restad at Crescent Electric, the harbor’s electrical contractor and a Pacific Power Energy Efficiency Alliance vendor, Crescent City Harbor District decided to upgrade its 1000-watt and 400-watt high pressure sodium lighting to new 560-watt and 240-watt pole-mounted LEDs.

“With the LED lights, the harbor has provided an almost daylight environment for our commercial fishermen to do their work,” Helms said. “We have received many compliments from our slip tenants about how much better the lighting is.”

He also noted the positive effect on maintenance. “The harbor had to change the sodium vapor lights as frequently as once a year. The LED lights that replaced them have a projected service life of 100,000 hours. Even if the lights only last 50,000 hours, that represents a major saving in bulb replacement and related labor costs.”

Expert assistance brings energy savings

The Inner Boat Basin LED lighting upgrade is fulfilling another goal for Crescent City Harbor District: energy savings. The annual electricity savings of the project is more than 51,246 kilowatt-hours - a savings of $6,068 in energy costs each year. The harbor district earned $2,400 in Pacific Power incentives to help offset costs of the project.

“Keeping up with the latest advances in lighting is not our area of expertise, but Pacific Power and Crescent Electric made it possible for us to make truly informed decisions before we upgraded,” said Helms.

Learn more about energy efficiency services and incentives for businesses »