Crews are onsite and have determined a car struck a power pole. Crews must replace some of the hardware that keeps the pole in place. Estimate power will be restored by 4 p.m. Outage first was reported about 12:30p.m. and left and estimated 4.096 customers without power.
The goats are coming back to town! From July 23 to July 25, Seattle City Light’s favorite employees will be returning for their sixth year on the job as vegetation managers at Seattle City Light’s North Substation.
Thick, overgrown blackberry bushes have grown up around the substation, but they will be no match for the hungry goats! Goats have tough mouths and digestive systems that don’t mind the thick thorns that make blackberry removal tough for humans. They also eat leaves and shrubs while leaving the roots intact – protecting the soil from erosion.
Natural vegetation management using goats has become increasingly popular, thanks to its low cost and environmental friendliness – and of course, the cuteness of the contractors!
City Light’s goats come from Healing Hooves, a company in eastern Washington that provides goats for natural vegetation management projects. The goats will be inside a fence while they work. Seattleites are welcome to stop by and say hi, but remember, the goats have a job to do!
Your Seattle City Light is responding to the growing problem of dangerous copper thefts by changing the material it uses to ground pole transformers and substation risers throughout its service territory.
Instead of pure copper wire, City Light now uses copper clad steel wire. The new wire is hard to cut and has little value as scrap.
“Our goal in changing materials is to maintain the reliability of your electricity service and protect public safety,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “And for anyone out there who thinks stealing wire is an easy way to make a buck, think twice. It’s not worth dying for.”
City Light was recently victimized by thieves who cut grounding wires from about a dozen utility poles in the Maple Leaf neighborhood, likely to sell as scrap metal.
Such thieves risk electrocution should they attempt to cut an energized wire, as happened in Enumclaw this week. http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2011/08/01/sheriff%E2%80%99s-office-would-be-metal-thief-badly-burned-at-substation/
While City Light uses a multi-point grounding system to protect public safety should a single grounding wire break or be disconnected, losing multiple wires compromises public safety as well.
City Light repaired the damaged equipment in Maple Leaf immediately, using the new steel wire.
Copper thefts are a problem throughout the country. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that copper thefts cause $1 billion in losses for utilities each year.
Near record prices for scrap metal seem to be driving a new surge in activity and fatalities, according to the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/08/us/08theft.html Scrap copper now sells for about $4 a pound compared to $1.25 a pound in 2009.
If you see anyone attempting to cut wire from a utility pole, call 9-1-1. If you notice a utility pole that’s been damaged, please call us at (206) 684-3000.
The Roosevelt/Maple Leaf Neighborhood’s favorite vegetation management team is coming back to Seattle City Light’s North Substation next week to munch blackberry bushes in a four-day cleanup.
Up to 280 goats from Healing Hooves will visit the substation from Monday, Aug. 30, through Friday, Sept. 3, to remove blackberry bushes and ivy that have grown on the steep, rocky hillside since the herd’s last trip.
“Goats have been a creative, affordable solution for removing this vegetation,” said Betsey Searing, landscape supervisor for City Light. “It’s environmentally friendly. No chemicals and no dump fees.”
Seattle City Light has been using Healing Hooves since 2006, to clear the substation’s one acre grounds of noxious weeds that grow where it’s difficult for humans to clear them safely.
“The blackberry bushes are lush and full of berries,” Searing said. “The goats will be getting dessert with their meal.”
Neighbors love the goats.
Many who live nearby visit the substation to watch the goats or talk to the goat herder, Craig Madsen. They have even held an impromptu block party for him. City Light consistently receives many compliments from neighbors on both the clearing of the brush and the use of the goats in place of more traditional vegetation controls.
During their work at the substation, the goats are kept in a fenced enclosure and will not roam outside of the area to be cleared, except to move to a livestock trailer. The shepherd uses a border collie to help herd the goats back and forth, and a portable electrified livestock fence keeps the goats away from the substation’s electrical equipment as well as the street. The entire area is enclosed by a chain link fence and isn’t accessible to the public.
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to nearly 1 million Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.