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Zilker moonlight tower to be reinstalled Wednesday

The tower, which was taken down in April, will have energy-efficient LED light bulbs and is one of the original 31 towers that provided the city with its first urban lighting system in 1895.

The Zilker Park Tree in Austin after being lit Sunday Nov. 30, 2014.

Austin Energy contractors are set to reinstall the Zilker moonlight tower on Wednesday after months to repair and restore it.

The tower, which was taken down in April, will have energy-efficient LED light bulbs and is one of the original 31 towers that provided the city with its first urban lighting system in 1895, the utility said.

“No other city in the world still has moonlight towers. They’re historical treasures that Austin Energy is committed to maintaining,” said Dan Smith, Vice President of Electric Service Delivery in a release. “We are also committed to reducing energy consumption and worked with the Texas Historical Commission to carefully choose LED light bulbs that preserve both the color and intensity of the original lighting.”

Austin Energy said Enertech Resources, LLC was contracted to repair and restore Austin’s 17 remaining moonlight towers. It added the use of LED bulbs on the towers will save more than 130,000 kilowatt-hours each year.

The restoration work included sandblasting the tower’s individual components to remove paint, corrosion and dirt, making repairs where necessary, repainting and reassembling the tower. Enertech also upgraded the tower’s wiring, electrical panel board, switches and relays.

“It’s not just about making the moonlight tower pretty; it’s about ensuring safety and bringing it up to today’s energy efficient standards,” said Smith.

Since 1967, the moonlight tower is transformed into the Zilker Tree. Smith added restoring the tower to “tip-top condition” is part of Austin’s preparations for the 50th year of the event.