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State shines praise on city's new streetlights
McMinnville Electric System and the city of McMinnville have been recognized by the state for receiving the 2015 Governors Environmental Stewardship Award. Pictured, from left, are Tennessee Department of Environmental and Conservation Commissioner Robert J. Martineau Jr., MES general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd, Resource and Development Committee chair Dr. Jeff McKinley, MES operations manager Ralph Dunn, McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley, and Gov. Bill Haslam.

Here's an award that really puts the city in a positive light.
The state has honored McMinnville Electric System and the city of McMinnville for their combined efforts in placing LED bulbs in every streetlight in the city.
For this project, the two were recognized with the 2015 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award in the Energy and Renewable Resources category.
"We're the only one in the Tennessee Valley to have done this," said MES general manager and CEO Rodney Boyd. "We not only did it with our streetlights but with every yard light in the city too. Probably the most important thing is it's cut the city's energy costs in half. That's impressive."
In the lights where the city had been using 100-watt bulbs, they were replaced with 50-watt LED bulbs. Despite the lower wattage, the LED lights appear just as bright in requiring less energy to operate.
McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley calls the move to all LED lights a "progressive step" and says the benefits are already being enjoyed with lower energy costs.
"TVA is pleased and views McMinnville as a model city," said Haley. "It's forward-thinking. It's futuristic. It's something we can do to help preserve the environment. It's definitely a win-win."
On top of the environmental advantages, Haley says the LED lights will save money over time.
"There's a savings on a long-term cost analysis," said Haley. "It's also better for MES in terms of regular repair and maintenance."
The state award recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect the environment and natural resources.