Mark Twain once said “The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either.”
And those cats up in Cheektowaga, NY will remember their failed solar street lights for a long time.
I don't know the technical particulars of this installation, but I would have had plenty of questions about it. But maybe snow didn't collect on the solar collectors. Maybe the battery capacities were appropriate and weren't impaired by the low temperatures you can expect near Buffalo, NY. Maybe the insolation levels were appropriate on average and they just had a 100 year event. Maybe the locations chosen were far enough from power supplies that it made sense for each pole to have its own independent solar power supply with no backup.
If they just had to make some sort of EC (environmentally correct) gesture, why not pick something that would be less spectacularly obvious if it failed?
I bet it'll be a long time before they'll try something like this again. All because some people won't wait for technologies to mature.
From Ecotality, featuring Bill Hobbs.