Seattle City Light

Business
3:34 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Seattle City Light Employee Raises Workplace Safety Concerns To City Council

Dana

On a morning when a fire at a Seattle City Light substation knocked out power to customers including the Monorail, the utility’s CEO happened to be in city council chambers answering questions about safety. 

Seattle City Council members brought CEO Jorge Carrasco into an energy committee meeting to discuss a string of recent embarrassing news stories, including Seattle City Light’s effort to suppress unflattering online search results.

But public testimony at the meeting steered toward the issue of employee safety.

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City Salary
5:04 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Seattle City Light CEO Apologizes For Mistakes, Admits He Did Ask For A Raise

Jorge Carrasco
Seattle.gov

The head of Seattle City Light wanted positive news stories and even hired a reputation-management firm to help achieve that. Instead, he’s been facing a flurry of negative news stories and on Thursday, CEO Jorge held a news conference to apologize for mistakes he’s made.

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City Salary
12:35 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Seattle Mayor: City Light CEO Won't Get Controversial Raise After All

Jorge Carrasco
Seattle.gov

Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco will not receive a six-figure raise after all, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said Wednesday.

The Seattle City Council recently authorized a pay hike of up to $119,000 per year for Carrasco, who currently earns $245,000 annually as the highest paid city employee. The raise was slated to take effect on July 1.

However, Murray, who previously supported a higher salary for Carrasco, said he has reversed his decision in light of questions recently raised regarding the utility CEO’s judgment.

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City of Seattle
5:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

'Smart Meters' Worry Some Seattle City Light Customers

Seattle City Light says new advanced electrical meters will let you monitor your power usage in real time. That way, if you see you’re using too much electricity at any given moment, you can run around and turn off a bunch of lights.

But Seattle is hearing from customers who say they’re worried the meters will collect too much data and also pose health risks.

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Environment
9:07 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Seattle City Light Finalizes License on Key Hydroelectric Dam

Seattle City Light

Seattle City Light has finalized a new 42-year license on its most productive hydroelectric dam. The agreement wraps up a process seven years in the making.

Boundary Dam sits on the Pend Oreille River in northeastern Washington. It rises to 340 feet tall, spanning a narrow canyon. 

"Oh it's awesome," said City Light's Barbara Greene. "Every time I go there, after 10 years, it's just awesome."

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Alternative Energy Art
2:57 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

'Sonic Bloom' Showcasing Solar Power at Seattle Center

Courtesy Pacific Science Center

It looks a bit like something you might find in a book by Dr. Seuss: five huge sculpted sunflowers with striped green and orange stems.

The new installation outside Seattle’s Pacific Science Center is meant to draw in and educate the public about solar power. 

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Longing for love
4:07 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Utility: Lone Osprey Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

Seattle City Light

A lone osprey is looking for love in all the wrong places, namely a high-voltage transmission tower, according to Seattle City Light.

The male raptor has been nesting on the tower along the Duwamish River despite the utility’s attempts to shoo the bird to greener pastures. Nest-building material could catch ablaze or cause a short circuit, which might trigger outages or fatally injure the bird.

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Power prices
5:33 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

McGinn defends City Light plan to raise utility's rates

Power lines on Seattle's Beacon Hill still carry some of the cheapest electricity in the country, but rate hikes are likely over the next 6 years, as proposed in a new strategic plan.
Photo by Andrew Imanaka flickr

The tendency for politicians to put off rate increases has meant decades of instability for customers of Seattle City Light. That’s according to Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who has unveiled a new strategic plan, which would raise electricity rates a total of 28 percent over the next six years.

Businesses want stability

Though raising rates is unpopular, McGinn says the plan will create more predictability for customers – something that’s especially important for businesses.

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Energy Efficiency
10:17 am
Tue March 6, 2012

LED streetlight test puts Seattle arterial in national spotlight

New LED lamps like this one on 15th Avenue NW in Ballard will be tested this week, with hopes of setting energy-saving standards for new lighting on major arterials. Officials say they can save millions of dollars once installed citywide.
Bellamy Pailthorp Photo KPLU News

Later today, road crews will shut down a 15-block stretch of a major arterial in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. For three nights, the city is testing the use of new LED lighting to replace old-fashioned street lamps.

The study is part of a regional effort that could set the standard for more energy efficient streetlights across the country.

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Solar energy
8:45 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Community Solar program has benefits, needs more supporters

Architectural Illustration of the design for solar power generation atop a picnic shelter at Beacon Hill's Jefferson Park.
By Stephanie Bower Courtesy Seattle City Light

As interest in solar power gains momentum, Seattle City Light is marketing a new program to make it more widely available. 

Community Solar gives people who can’t install solar panels on their own homes the chance to reap the rewards of a cash investment in solar power.

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Solar energy
5:00 am
Mon August 8, 2011

Solar power gaining momentum in Seattle

Outside the solar-powered carousel at Woodland Park Zoo, visitors can see how much power is generated and used. The solar panels on the roof have exceeded expectations in the six months since the demonstration project went online.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

From carousels to picnic shelters and libraries, solar power is becoming more commonplace in Seattle.

City Light says it has seen big growth in customer demand for alternative energy over the past decade – and small solar is one of the biggest draws. 

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Environment
8:15 am
Mon April 25, 2011

Seattle City Light tries osprey deterrent on utility poles

An oprey takes his lunch to go along the Duwamish River. Seattle City Light is testing a new way to keep ospreys from nesting on utility poles.
Jim Kaiser

Wildlife experts think they may have finally outsmarted the osprey, at least when it comes to keeping them off of utility poles. The hawk-like birds have caused power outages and harm to themselves by nesting on high voltage power lines.

Ospreys are pretty resourceful birds. When the tall, bare trees they used to nest in disappeared from the water’s edge, they figured out utility poles were a close substitute. Whenever humans try to stop them from using the poles, ospreys find a workaround.

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Public Safety
5:32 pm
Tue April 12, 2011

Seattle City Light finds another shocking light pole

Bird perching on an apparently non-electrified Seattle streetlight 5/9/09
sea turtle flickr.com

Seattle City Light has found another electrified streetlight pole. It was a new pole, which had been installed in January. A dog detected the voltage when it sniffed the pole and its owner called it in. City Light says the streetlight had been improperly installed and had frayed wires.

As a precaution, the utility is inspecting about 60 streetlight poles that were damaged and replaced in the past year. Many of those poles weren’t in place when City Light did comprehensive voltage testing last December and January.

Hydropower
1:20 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

More snowpack means more electricity this summer

Seattle City Light's Diablo Dam on the Skagit River. 7/22/2001
Flickr user Hunda flickr.com

The Pacific Northwest has emerged from winter with an above average snowpack, and that's good news for the region's hydroelectric dams. Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco says, “The snowfall we have received in the mountains this winter was fantastic.”

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News Roundup
7:35 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Thursday morning's headlines

The 787 Dreamliner, after a test flight in Dec. 2009. Boeing is hinting it might make the 787 production line in Everett permanent.
AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Budget Cuts Create Backlog for King County Prosecutor
  • Boeing Says More 787 Work Possible in Everett
  • Six Years of Rate Increases Needed, Says Seattle City Light
  • State Patrol to Investigate Gig Harbor Police Chief

 

Budget Cuts Strain King Co. Prosecutor Staff

The King County Prosecutor says his office can’t keep up with high-priority crimes because of budget cuts and a jump in aggravated assaults. Doug Satterberg has asked the County Council for $225,000 in emergency funding. The Seattle Times' Keith Ervin reports the request comes six months after voters rejected a proposed sales tax increase:

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