Steam plant tours gain a following

More than 300 people attended the June 13 monthly open house at the historic Georgetown Steam Plant.

About 1,000 people have visited the steam plant since City Light began hosting the open houses in October 2014. A film crew from the Seattle Channel was also on-hand recently to film footage for a story they are producing about the steam plant.

The next open house is scheduled for July 11, 10 a.m. to 2 pm.


Seattle City Light Biologist’s Co-Author Research Paper on Chinook Salmon in Skagit River

Seattle City Light Biologists Ed Connor and Dave Pflug co-authored a research paper on Chinook Salmon in the Skagit River that was recently published by the scientific journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.


“The paper, titled “Abundance, survival, and life history strategies of Juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Skagit River, Washington,” investigated the influence of river flows in the survival of juvenile Chinook salmon. It found that fish management flows from City Light’s Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, particularly reductions in peak flows, have improved juvenile Chinook survival in the river downstream of the project.”

The paper identifies “potential actions for conserving Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Skagit River.” Seattle City Light contributed to the funding of this research that observed river flows as well as freshwater rearing patterns, spawning and more regarding the six recognized populations of Chinook salmon. The research demonstrated the importance for Chinook salmon survival of managing river flows to avoid peak flow events.  Furthermore, Chinook juveniles exhibiting extended freshwater rearing periods would benefit from additional restoration of freshwater rearing habitats.

Another conclusion derived from the research is that Chinook salmon juveniles with extended freshwater requirements could be enhanced with additional increases in the quality and quantity of rearing habitat, especially backwater areas, natural banks and off-channel habitat in the middle and lower portions of the Skagit River.

Seattle City Light is actively engaged in promoting healthy salmon runs on the Skagit River as part of its operations of the Skagit Hydroelectric Project. City Light’s three dams were built above natural barriers to fish passage and the utility operates them to manage river flows to support spawning runs and juvenile fish. Staff biologists monitor river conditions and research opportunities to enhance fish populations on the river.



Crane Fire Demonstrates Need For Safety Precautions Around Power Lines

A fire at a West Seattle construction site Thursday morning shows how important it is to be safe around power lines.


A crane operator was hoisting trusses for a building when part of the machinery came into contact with a power line. The surge of electricity started a fire that eventually engulfed the crane’s cab. Fortunately, no one was injured.


Here’s what the West Seattle Blog wrote about the fire:

8:27 AM: Seattle Fire is upgrading a “car fire” call in the 4700 block of SW Andover to a “full response” so lots of units are heading that way and we’re told the smoke is visible for some ways around. First units on scene are describing it as a “well-involved crane” with “power lines below the crane” – dangerous situation – avoid the area. Our crew just arrived and says it’s in the alley between 47th and 48th. From the scanner, the fire is “confined to (the mobile crane) and fence.” Firefighters are working to keep it from spreading.

8:38 AM: We’ve added a short Instagram video clip from our crew atop this story. Firefighters say the fire’s under control. No injuries reported. The smoke was visible from as far away as downtown.

8:46 AM: Update from our crew at the scene: The mobile crane was lifting roof trusses for a construction project nearby. Those items are largely undamaged. The fire response is scaling down. No report of flames spreading to nearby homes – firefighters got it handled in time.

8:54 AM: SFD tells us they believe the fire started when the crane touched a wire, which would explain commenters’ reports of a brief power outage at about the same time.

9:00 AM: We still have crews at the scene but also just have heard via scanner that Seattle City Light has advised SFD to keep a 30-foot safety perimeter around the burned crane.

9:23 AM: Thanks to everyone who sent photos, and to those with additional scene info in comments. The scene, meantime, has stabilized to some degree; we will be checking back later.

9:39 AM: Also via scanner – the power lines “are still energized” and they’re awaiting City Light’s arrival to cut the power as well as a salvage crew to remove the crane.

10:07 AM: Not sure how this will affect people in the area but now they’re saying SCL won’t be able to shut down the power until noon or so. At least one SFD engine is remaining on scene TFN.


You can read Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Lines post here: Fire Lines

And get safety tips from us here: City Light Safety Tips


City Light Continues Work to Increase Electrical Reliability and Capacity in SODO Neighborhood

Seattle City Light crews will be continuing work in the SODO neighborhood to increase electrical service capacity and reliability. This project involves replacing poles, overhead electrical wire and upgrading equipment along South Horton Street between Colorado Avenue South and 4th Avenue South.  Previously, crews were working along Utah Avenue South.

This next section is expected to start in late May and last for approximately five months.  There will be several maintenance power outages required during construction to ensure crews can work safely.  Affected customers will be notified one to two weeks in advance of any maintenance power outage. Not all customers within construction area will be affected by a maintenance outage. The typical maintenance outage length is two to three hours.

Construction along South Horton Street will require intermittent closures at night and on weekends, and will take place one street block at a time to help minimize impacts. Parking impacts are expected but will be kept to a minimum. During construction customers and businesses should expect noise. Work is scheduled from Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. along with some evenings and weekends.

For more information, customers can contact Antonio Hernandez, Sr. Electrical Service Representative, at (206) 386-1635, or visit

Make it an LED Holiday Season

As the holiday season grows near, neighborhoods across the country are already well into their annual transformation into festivals of lights.  From inflatable snowmen in front yards to houses decorated top to bottom with lights, there is no escaping the holiday cheer. We’ve even seen an aluminum tree bathed in rotating colored lights displayed in all its 1970s disco glory right here in Seattle.

While we appreciate a dash of retro spirit so Santa can get down with his bad elf self, Seattle City Light, the nation’s greenest utility, encourages you to join us in celebrating a LED filled holiday season.

Making the switch to LED light bulbs provides a sturdier, longer lasting and easier-to-install alternative to incandescent lights. These energy efficient light-emitting diodes use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights, making them the greenest choice; regardless of the color you choose. Using less energy will save you money. Additionally, these lights put out less heat making them not only the smarter choice, but the safer one too.

If you’re organized and already put up your display, now is the time to plan ahead for next season. The best time to buy LED holiday lights starts Dec. 26 so .