City Light Completes Streetlight Conversions at Seattle Center

Crews finish concrete work for the streetlight infrastructure upgrade at Seattle Center.

Seattle City Light has completed the conversion of streetlights along the perimeter of Seattle Center to LEDs and its former 480-volt power supply to a 120-volt system.

As part of the overall Mercer Corridor project, the streetlight upgrades will improve safety and reliability.

Seattle Center was one of the few remaining areas in Seattle that still used a 480-volt system to power streetlights. Construction began in mid-to-late February, and lasted approximately five months.

The project area.

The upgrade will ensure all streetlights continue to work properly and safely to meet current safety guidelines. This work is one of several strategic investments by City Light to improve customers’ experience and meet customer’s electricity needs while also efficiently managing the energy system. The project also consisted of improvements to sidewalks and ADA curb ramps.

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 about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Small WA Cities Get Big Help from State to Convert Streetlights to LEDs

Small cities in Washington are getting big help from the state to convert their streetlights from high-pressure sodium lamps to LEDs.

The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board announced recently that it has arranged directly with utility companies to convert to LED streetlights for eligible cities throughout the Puget Sound Energy and Avista Utilities service areas.  Work will begin as soon as July 2015 and continue for six years.  Cities with LED streetlights will pay new lower LED streetlight rates, saving at least 25 percent of monthly operating costs.  Agencies outside of these service providers will be able to receive direct grants beginning in 2016.

Seattle City Light collaborated with the board as it developed the program, sharing the utility’s experience on fixture specifications and performance.

City Light converted about 41,000 residential streetlights to LEDs and is now working to replace high-pressure sodium streetlights on arterial streets with energy efficient LEDs. Read more about that program here. The utility also led the US Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid State Street Lighting Consortium for four years, encouraging communities across the country to share information about LED streetlights and to speed installation of the energy saving lights.

Here’s the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board’s announcement of its new program, called Relight Washington:

Relight Washington LED Streetlight Program coming to small cities beginning in 2015

TIB introduced a new program in 2015 to move small cities to the front of the line in cost saving LED streetlight replacement. Small cities and cities with low tax base, including all cities with population under 5,000, will be eligible for LED streetlight conversion.  TIB intends to help cities take advantage of the up to 55 percent savings experienced with LED technology.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

All small cities (population under 5,000) will be eligible to receive funds.  Additionally the board has included urban agencies (population 5,000 and up) that have an assessed value under $2 billion.  Cities, including those over $2 billion assessed value, may also apply for funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce, subject to state budget adoption.

WHAT IS ELIGIBLE?

Streetlights on public streets within the city limits are eligible if the city pays for them directly or through utility rates.  Small numbers of new additional lights and directly related minor upgrades may be authorized by TIB.

HOW WILL THE PROGRAM WORK?

TIB has arranged directly with utility companies to convert to LED streetlights for eligible cities throughout the Puget Sound Energy and Avista Utilities service areas.  Work will begin as soon as July 2015 and continue for six years.  Cities with LED streetlights will pay new lower LED streetlight rates, saving at least 25 percent of monthly operating costs.  Agencies outside of these service providers will be able to receive direct grants beginning in 2016.

WHAT SHOULD AGENCIES BE DOING?

If your city is in the PSE or Avista service areas, no action is required.  You will receive funding authorization from TIB based on our coordinated scheduling with the utility.  Cities outside the Avista and PSE service areas may wish to prepare for future grant opportunities by inventorying light type, wattage and location.  Contact your utility company to ensure that significant cost savings will be shared with the city after installation.  TIB will not fund conversion in cases where no cost savings is shared with the city through lower rates.

WHAT IS NEXT?

TIB will start the first installations of streetlights this summer in the investor owned service areas where agreements are in place.

RELIGHT WASHINGTON ELIGIBLE AGENCIES

AberdeenAirway HeightsAlbion

Algona

Almira

Arlington

Asotin

Battle Ground

Beaux Arts Village

Benton City

Bingen

Black Diamond

Blaine

Bonney Lake

Brewster

Bridgeport

Brier

Buckley

Bucoda

Burlington

Carbonado

Carnation

Cashmere

Castle Rock

Cathlamet

Centralia

Chehalis

Chelan

Cheney

Chewelah

Clarkston

Cle Elum

Clyde Hill

Colfax

College Place

Colton

Colville

Conconully

Concrete

Connell

Cosmopolis

Coulee City

Coulee Dam

Coupeville

Covington

Creston

CusickDarringtonDavenport

Dayton

Deer Park

Dupont

Duvall

East Wenatchee

Eatonville

Edgewood

Electric City

Ellensburg

Elma

Elmer City

Endicott

Entiat

Enumclaw

Ephrata

Everson

Fairfield

Farmington

Ferndale

Fife

Fircrest

Forks

Friday Harbor

Garfield

George

Gig Harbor

Gold Bar

Goldendale

Grand Coulee

Grandview

Granger

Granite Falls

Hamilton

Harrah

Harrington

Hartline

Hatton

Hoquiam

Hunts Point

Ilwaco

Index

Ione

Kahlotus

KalamaKelsoKettle Falls

Kittitas

Krupp

La Center

La Conner

Lacrosse

Lake Forest Park

Lamont

Langley

Latah

Leavenworth

Liberty Lake

Lind

Long Beach

Lyman

Lynden

Mabton

Malden

Mansfield

Marcus

Mattawa

Mccleary

Medical Lake

Medina

Mesa

Metaline

Metaline Falls

Millwood

Milton

Monroe

Montesano

Morton

Mossyrock

Mountlake Terrace

Moxee

Naches

Napavine

Nespelem

Newcastle

Newport

Nooksack

Normandy Park

North Bend

North Bonneville

NorthportOak HarborOakesdale

Oakville

Ocean Shores

Odessa

Okanogan

Omak

Oroville

Orting

Othello

Pacific

Palouse

Pateros

Pe Ell

Pomeroy

Port Angeles

Port Orchard

Port Townsend

Poulsbo

Prescott

Prosser

Pullman

Quincy

Rainier

Raymond

Reardan

Republic

Ridgefield

Ritzville

Riverside

Rock Island

Rockford

Rosalia

Roslyn

Roy

Royal City

Ruston

Sedro Woolley

Selah

Sequim

Shelton

Skykomish

Snohomish

Snoqualmie

Soap Lake

South BendSouth Cle ElumSouth Prairie

Spangle

Sprague

Springdale

St. John

Stanwood

Starbuck

Steilacoom

Stevenson

Sultan

Sumas

Sumner

Sunnyside

Tekoa

Tenino

Tieton

Toledo

Tonasket

Toppenish

Twisp

Union Gap

Uniontown

Vader

Waitsburg

Wapato

Warden

Washougal

Washtucna

Waterville

Waverly

West Richland

Westport

White Salmon

Wilbur

Wilkeson

Wilson Creek

Winlock

Winthrop

Woodland

Woodway

Yacolt

Yarrow Point

Yelm

Zillah

Seattle City Light Works in Holly Park to Enhance Streetlight Reliability and Safety

Holly Park Work Area

Residents and businesses should prepare for construction to resume in the Holly Park neighborhood in mid-May to update the streetlight electrical grounding system.

Seattle City Light is working to enhance streetlight safety by reducing the risk of contact voltage through improved grounding. Although no contact voltage problems have been found at Holly Park during the past several years of inspections, City Light is working to update the streetlight grounding to current standards to enhance safety.

City Light contractors completed the first phase of this project in the summer of 2014. Crews will resume work for the second phase later this month to enhance infrastructure, create more reliability and improve safety. As safety for customers is Seattle City Light’s first priority, the utility will continue to test all the metal streetlights and associated structures in its service territory for contact voltage annually and report on the findings.

This project is expected to be completed by the end of October 2015.  During construction, customers and business should expect some noise during time of construction as well as some minor traffic and parking impacts in the immediate work area.

For more information about this project and other City Light construction projects, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/light/aboutus/construction/.

About Seattle City Light

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.

Seattle City Light Begins Work to Enhance Streetlight Reliability in Holly Park

Seattle City Light will begin upgrading the streetlight electrical grounding system in the Holly Park neighborhood Oct. 6. This work, expected to be completed by the end of November, is necessary to keep the lights functioning properly and to prevent cases of contact voltage on metal streetlight structures.

No contact voltage problems have been found at Holly Park in the past two years of inspections. Testing is completed annually to make sure all equipment that can conduct electricity is both safe and functioning properly.

The project will involve digging in the public right-of-way by a City light contractor during which time it will be necessary for equipment to be parked on site. Power outages are not expected during the project at this time. Should outages become necessary, notification will be provided in advance. Additionally, minor traffic and parking impacts can be expected in the immediate work area, as well as some noise in the surrounding area. Crews are committed to maintaining access to driveways in order to mitigate impacts to residents and surrounding businesses.

Crews will work Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All work will be kept within city ordinances and standards.

For more information about this and other City Light construction projects, please visit http://www.seattle.gov/light/aboutus/construction/.

About Seattle City Light
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 about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.