Town Toyota Center lights up with LEDs

by Susan Gillin | May 05, 2016

Workers have finished installing energy-saving LEDs, including computer-controlled colored lights to provide special effects

Fans of Wenatchee Wild hockey, the roughstock rodeo and rockin’ rock concerts: Town Toyota Center has just installed gorgeous white and colored lights to take the action up a notch at the next event you attend.

“Guests will be awed by the LED lighting features from red, white, and blue during a national anthem to bright pink for our upcoming SummerFest event,” said Mark Miller, Town Toyota Center general manager. But it’s not the disco-style lights that have the staff excited. The center’s manager is all charged up about the energy savings and low maintenance that LED lighting – both white and rainbow colored – will bring to the budget.

The Public Facilities District’s Town Toyota Center  is completing a project to remove 99 metal halide lamps, replacing them with 40 high bay LEDs. That amounts to an estimated annual energy savings of 599,640 kilowatt hours -- enough to power 27 local homes -- or $18,021 off the annual electric bill.

Chelan County PUD is covering 98 percent of the project cost of $225,250.  

Last year the PUD provided 100 percent funding for metal halide-to-LED lighting upgrades to the center’s parking lot, warehouse section of the arena, and community ice rink. That project cost $76,994. Estimated savings for those areas totals 289,360 kilowatt hours -- enough to power 13 homes -- or $7,508 in energy costs per year.

Both projects are part of Chelan PUD’s Local Government Initiative, a new PUD program to improve the energy efficiency of public buildings. Incentives are available to help local governments upgrade facilities and equipment.

Others taking advantage of the PUD initiative to date include the Cascade, Chelan, Entiat, Manson and Wenatchee school districts; cities of Cashmere, Leavenworth, Peshastin, Chelan and Wenatchee; Chelan County; North Central Regional Library; and Chelan County Fire District 7 in Chelan.

Most of the projects involve replacing outdated, inefficient lighting with new LEDs that provide better light, save energy, and require little to no maintenance.

“If we had an event in the morning and one in the afternoon with a two-hour break in between, we’d have to leave the old lights on,” said Chris Berg, the facilities manager. The old metal halide lights required a warm-up period that wasted energy. That problem has disappeared with the new LEDs.

The colored lights save as much energy as the white ones, but were chosen for their novelty. Only one other arena in the state has them, Berg said. The lights will make their full debut at the G.S. Long Roughstock Rodeo on May 13 and 14 in the arena. “The innovative lighting will be used for generations to come,” Miller said. "We value our partnership with the Chelan PUD.”

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