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Valdez, Alaska, Joins Cree LED City® Program, Converting All Street Lights to LEDs

Copper Valley Electric Association Lowers Rates for LED Street Lights

VALDEZ, Alaska--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE), a market leader in LED lighting, announces that the city of Valdez has joined the Cree LED City® initiative, an international program that promotes the deployment of energy-efficient LED lighting. Valdez is in the process of converting all 343 street lights to LED technology.

“Other utilities are grappling with how to handle LED street-lights tariffs and Copper Valley’s proactive stance can serve as a model for promoting energy-efficient LED lighting.”

As part of this project, city officials have negotiated a new, reduced billing rate with Copper Valley Electric Association for the LED street lights and will renegotiate its maintenance contract when it expires in 2011.

“We project we can achieve 45-percent or higher energy savings with the new BetaLED® fixtures we are installing, compared with the high-pressure sodium lights we are replacing,” said Mayor Bert Cottle. “As we look ahead and anticipate rising energy costs, investing in LED technology becomes even more attractive. Community feedback on the initial lights has been overwhelmingly positive. Valdez citizens like the quality and color of the new LED lights and they are happy about the projected energy and maintenance cost savings.”

“Copper Valley is taking a leadership role in the utilities industry by setting a reduced rate on LED street lights,” said Greg Merritt, Cree vice president of government relations. “Other utilities are grappling with how to handle LED street-lights tariffs and Copper Valley’s proactive stance can serve as a model for promoting energy-efficient LED lighting.”

The BetaLED fixtures can be operated at three light levels. Initially, the fixtures will be operated at a higher setting for maximum light output during the winter months, when snow removal activities require high light levels. Going forward, city officials can choose to switch the lights to a lower operating level, depending on actual light-level requirements, which can potentially increase energy savings to 60 percent.

Valdez initially installed two trial street lights outside City Hall in January 2009 and solicited feedback from the community. The city began replacing the first one-third of its streetlights in December 2009 and expects to complete the full conversion by 2011. The new LED lights are expected to last ten times longer than the high-pressure sodium lights currently in use.

About LED City

The LED City is an expanding community of government and industry parties working to evaluate, deploy and promote LED lighting technology across the full range of municipal infrastructure to:

  • Save energy
  • Protect the environment
  • Reduce maintenance costs
  • Provide better light quality for improved visibility and safety.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 22 percent of electricity used in the U.S. powers lighting. In a world with soaring energy prices based on the availability and control of fossil fuels, and with growing concern about sustainability of the environment, a revolution in lighting is long overdue. Participants include Raleigh and Chapel Hill, N.C.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Austin and Fairview, Texas; Anchorage, Ala.; Tianjian and Huizhou, China; Torraca and Apecchio, Italy; Toronto and Welland, Ontario; Indian Wells, Calif.; Gwangju, South Korea; Danville, Va.; and Boston, Mass.

About Valdez

The City of Valdez, population 4,353, is located in South Central Alaska on the northeast tip of Prince William Sound. On the road system, Valdez is 305 road miles east of Anchorage, and 364 road miles south of Fairbanks. The City was founded just prior to the turn of the 20th century as a gateway for the “All-American Route” to interior gold and copper fields. Incorporated since 1901, the community’s first hundred years have been marked by a number of significant events, the most notable of which are the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, being chosen as the terminus of the trans-Alaska Pipeline and the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. For additional information, visit www.ci.valdez.ak.us.

About Cree

Cree is leading the LED lighting revolution and setting the stage to obsolete the incandescent light bulb through the use of energy-efficient, environmentally friendly LED lighting. Cree is a market-leading innovator of lighting-class LEDs, LED lighting, and semiconductor solutions for wireless and power applications.

For additional product and company information, please refer to www.cree.com. To learn more about the LED Lighting Revolution, please visit www.creeledrevolution.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements involving risks and uncertainties, both known and unknown, that may cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated. Actual results may differ materially due to a number of factors such as the possibility that actual savings may vary from expectations; the potential lack of customer acceptance of LED products; the rapid development of new technology and competing products that may impair demand or render Cree’s products obsolete; and other factors discussed in Cree’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 28, 2009, and subsequent filings.

Cree and LED City are registered trademarks of Cree, Inc. BetaLED is a registered trademark of Ruud Lighting, Inc.

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