Crews worked through the night to restore power to approximately 12,900 customers. While crews worked to restore power to an earlier outage, four circuit breakers relayed offline causing a cascading effect and a small substation fire. The sequence of events led to a larger outage. Affected areas in parts of Ballard, Magnolia, and Queen Anne were returned to power by 6:15 a.m. this morning, Saturday, January 20. The cause of the original outage is still being investigated.
Beginning in January 2018, Seattle City Light will be piloting a program to improve customer safety, reduce carbon emissions and conserve resources by installing LED streetlight fixtures in Pioneer Square. Two manufacturers have been selected and customer comments are needed to decide which fixtures will light Pioneer Square. The new fixtures will be evaluated for appearance, historical integrity and light levels. The fixtures must meet City Light standards and Seattle Department of Transportation minimum light level and uniformity guidelines.
The new LED streetlights will make arterial streets safer by increasing their visibility at night.
Maintenance power outages are not planned for this work. Customers can expect some traffic impacts during the removal of existing streetlight fixtures and the installation of new LED fixtures. Parking may be impacted within the immediate work area.
Starting on February 12, 2018, customers can provide feedback on the pilot LED fixtures through our online survey: surveymonkey.com/r/PSFixtures.
Feedback is due by February 26, 2018.
Project Timeline (Beginning January 2018):
Stage 1: Light readings of existing fixtures
Stage 2: Installation of test fixtures
Stage 3: LED light analysis (survey feedback due by February 26, 2018)
Stage 4: Seattle City Light will present its findings to the Pioneer Square Preservation Board
If the test fixtures are not approved, they will be scheduled for immediate removal following the board decision. If the fixtures are approved, an order will be placed to convert the Pioneer Square neighborhood to the new fixtures in 2018.
Customers can contact Kevin Gorman, Project Manager at (206) 615-0650 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit City Light’s “At Work in Your Neighborhood” website for additional information on the pilot project.
It’s that time of the year in Seattle. You know, when dreary clouds outstay their welcome and cold rain reliably pelts your face every time you venture outdoors.
While our facilities in Seattle have stayed soggy for most of the season, our other facilities are dealing with a different (and some would argue more pleasant) kind of precipitation: snow! Our hydroelectric projects in the North Cascades and in northeastern Washington have had enough snow to make Jack Frost jealous.
City Light employees from across the state sent us these frosty photos to show what the weather is like in their neck of the woods. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, wrap up in your favorite blanket and browse through these delightful snowscapes.
A special thanks to all of those who submitted photos!
Contracted crews recently completed their work to replace aging utility poles in parts of Seattle City Light’s south end of the service territory. Crews replaced a total of 274 poles from March 2017 to December 2017.
Utility pole replacements are needed for several reasons. In many cases, poles need to be upgraded to add space for other third-party utilities (such as power, cable TV, phone service, etc.). Poles are also replaced if they are structurally unstable. This can be affected by the age of the pole, weather conditions, wildlife and even vehicle-pole collisions.
Completion of this work supports improvements in enhancing electrical reliability for customers.
Seattle City Light thanks its customers for their patience during the successful completion of this work.
Learn more about this project and others by visiting Seattle City Light’s “At Work in Your Neighborhood” website.
Seattle City Light crews recently completed a project in late December 2017 to replace aging electrical infrastructure in the SODO neighborhood. The work included the replacement of aging utility poles, overhead wire and equipment to help upgrade the existing electrical system.
This work was part of a second phase to upgrade the electrical system in the Chinatown-International District, Yesler Terrace and SODO neighborhoods.
Previous work in the Chinatown-International District area was completed in June 2017. Upgrades to these three neighborhoods will support redevelopment projects and increased electrical reliability, flexibility and capacity.
City Light thanks its customers for their patience during the successful completion of this project.
For more information on this project and others in your area, please visit Seattle City Light’s “At Work in Your Neighborhood” website.
This past December, a Seattle City Light contractor completed the final repair work on several existing electrical conduits along 42nd Avenue South in Tukwila, WA. The project also included the installation of new vaults to enhance reliability for electrical service.
Contracted crews started this three-month project in late October 2017. City Light thanks the residents of Tukwila for their patience during the successful completion of this project.
Learn about this project and others by visiting Seattle City Light’s “At Work in Your Neighborhood” website.
Senior Safety Specialist Christian Wong has worked at the utility for two years. As part of the Safety, Health and Wellness team, Christian specializes in Industrial Hygiene and Programs. “I assist the administration and help with the standards writing,” Christian explained. “I also help to implement, update and reconfigure our programs processes as well as manage our data migration.”
Born in Canada, Christian grew up in Kent and graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) where he studied Safety and Health Management. “My immediate family lives in Kent; it’s nice to be a few minutes from my parents,” Christian shared. “We just returned from our annual winter trip to Whistler. It’s a fun tradition we have as a family.”
In this week’s (spot)Light, Christian talks about his family, his role and how he got started in the field.
“I like to paint and play guitar. I love music; I can’t stop listening to it. You’ll most likely catch me humming and whistling around the halls. In high school, I went to every possible concert I could. I even joined a band. I thought it was so awesome. I was on the tail end of growing up in the grunge area which was a big influence on my life especially living in Seattle. My mom and dad are both music fans. I’d have to say that Fleetwood Mac is the one band we can all listen to together and just rock out.”
“My dad is a contractor; he actually built my house! I used to help my dad on various projects and because I was familiar with the field, I originally studied construction management in college. As part of CWU’s construction program, we helped build houses in Ellensburg. I was on-site one day, and the instructor asked me to climb up a ladder and go onto the roof. There was no other equipment to assist me—no cleats, no tie-offs, no safety precautions. It really irked me because he was risking my safety to complete a job. I complained to the program director who suggested I check out the safety program. I instantly had a passion and affinity for it, so, I enrolled in the program and finished my studies in that field.”
“At the utility, we’re required to follow the safety programs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Many of these rules and regulations require a lot of administrative rule in the process as well as making sure that we’re compliant. A good example of this is our hearing protection program. We’re required to offer annual hearing tests and audiograms to employees who are exposed to a certain decibel level. I coordinate all the program testers and ensure we’re following regulations and are properly notifying our employees.”
“Overall, I like the fact that I can send someone home without them being injured or hurt. To know that our employees can go home and watch TV or lift their kid is amazing to me. And any protection that I can help provide is completely satisfying. I relate to my dad in that way. He works with the principle ‘If everything is OK with you, then I’m ok.’ It’s something I’ve adopted and applied to my professional life.”
Namura Nkeze began her City Light career four years ago as a senior training and education coordinator in the Workforce Development group. She is now the division administrator for Facilities, Security and Emergency Management, a role she’s held the past six months. “I assist with the day-to-day operations for our division which includes supporting our leadership team and employees,” Namura explained.
Namura grew up in the Rainier Beach area, but later moved to Bellingham with her family. She studied English at Western Washington University and earned a master’s in education from the University of Washington (UW). She lives in Rainier Beach with her husband of 24 years, Emmanuel. They have two kids, Izahna and Joseph. “We’re very involved with our kids,” Namura shared. “I’m a room parent for my daughter and I participate in the PTO for my son. I’m also heavily involved in the community through a couple of organizations.”
In this week’s (spot)Light, Namura talks about her career path and her love of crafting.
“I love to sew and put things together; just create. I recently started making bottlecap necklaces. I’ve always been crafty. When I was in fourth grade, I was in a school production and they sent us home with material to make a dress. I ended up sewing the whole dress myself, by hand. I went to school and was so proud of my creation. My teachers were so impressed they used my dress as a pattern for the other students. I enjoy crafts because there is a beginning and an end. Maybe someday, I’ll open a site on Etsy or Amazon Handmade.”
“I worked at UW for 13 years. Before that, I worked at North Seattle Community College. After 20 years in education, I wanted a change. I started thinking about my interests and what got me excited about work. My guiding question was, ‘How do you get the right people in the right position to meet the needs of the organization and the individual?’ That led me to human resources, so, I completed the Human Resources Management Certificate at Bellevue College. By the time I finished, I had quit my job at UW and began looking for a position in my new field.”
“I heard about City Light from a friend. I applied for three positions before receiving an interview and an offer. And now here I am! Before I started working for the utility, I knew NOTHING about the work that was done here. Working in Workforce Development taught me a lot about the utility.”
“I am proud to work at City Light! Every time I flip on a switch at home, I’m thankful for the work that my co-workers do each day to afford me this privilege. I also love the people at the utility. We have folks who have been here as long as 40 years! That’s dedication and it shows! I believe you would be hard pressed to find that family feel and sense of community in any other organization. I‘m happy to have a second career at City Light.”
Seattle City Light will be hosting a community meeting for Arroyo neighborhood residents on Thursday, December 14 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Westside School to discuss an unplanned power outage that took place on December 3. The meeting will also include information about the history of the neighborhood’s electrical infrastructure, and future upgrades for the Arroyo area.
The Westside School is located at 10404 34th Avenue Southwest, in West Seattle’s Arbor Heights neighborhood. Street parking is available around the neighborhood and east of the campus on 32nd Avenue Southwest. The meeting will be held in the school’s theater.
For more information, please contact Shelby Calipes, Customer Engineering Supervisor at (206) 386-4274 or email@example.com.
Seattle City Light is pleased by an announcement that the United States and Canada will begin negotiations in 2018 to modernize the landmark Columbia River Treaty, which has supported hydropower operations, flood control, irrigation, municipal water use, navigation and recreation on the international river since 1964.
“We’re thankful to the Pacific Northwest congressional delegation for their support in getting Columbia River Treaty negotiations started with Canada, American Indian tribes and Canadian First Nations,” City Light’s Interim Power Supply Officer Robert Cromwell said. “It’s time to modernize the operations of the Columbia River for power, flood control and address important ecosystem functions.”
Under the existing treaty, river users in the United States, including hydroelectric dam operators such as the Bonneville Power Administration, pay Canada for power production and flood control support provided by their reservoirs. The U.S. electric utilities and agencies covered by the treaty believe they are paying too much for that power production and flood control support.
City Light supports the regional recommendation that was submitted to the U.S. State Department in 2013. It calls for:
- Better address the region’s interest in a reliable and economically sustainable hydropower system and reflect a more reasonable assessment of the value of coordinated power operations with Canada;
- Continue to provide a similar level of flood risk management to protect public safety and the region’s economy;
- Include ecosystem-based function as one of the primary purposes of the treaty; and
- Create flexibility within the Treaty to respond to climate change, changing water supply needs and other potential future changes in system operations while continuing to meet authorized purposes such as navigation and irrigation.
Such changes could reduce Seattle City Light’s costs for the electricity it buys from BPA by $9 million to $11 million per year.
More details about the regional recommendation are available here.