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Project Details

East Pine Substation Reliability Upgrade

Posting Date: 11/13/2017                

Contact: Percy Schlimm - Sr. Electrical Service Representative

Phone: (206) 386-1735

Project Update (July 23, 2018):

The City of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board will be conducting their Architectural Review Committee Meeting on Friday, July 27 at 8:30 a.m.

Seattle City Light is scheduled to be on the agenda to present and obtain feedback on their proposed design for the East Pine Substation. The agenda can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2JOf26T 

Meeting Information:

Architectural Review Committee Meeting
Friday, July 27, 2018, 8:30 a.m.
Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue
Floor L2, Room L2-80 Boards & Commissions

If you would like to be added to the Architectural Review Committee and Landmarks Board meeting agenda distribution lists, please contact Melinda Bloom at melinda.bloom@seattle.gov. To submit written public comments, please contact Erin Doherty at erin.doherty@seattle.gov.

What is the East Pine Substation Reliability Upgrade and Wall Expansion Project?

Constructed in 1966-67, the East Pine Substation is located at 1501 23rd Avenue, Seattle. It is considered an essential City Light facility providing power to the neighborhood, including several hospitals located on First Hill and Capitol Hill.   A strategic goal of City Light’s Capital Improvement Program is to ensure that the facilities serving City Light customers provide the lowest cost and most reliable power as possible. Consequently, the following improvements have been recommended for East Pine Substation:

  • Modify the north and west perimeter walls and expand their footprints toward the property lines in order to accommodate future equipment upgrades and build-outs. 
  • Improve gate access and security for the north and west perimeter walls.
  • Evaluate/upgrade the seismic integrity of the substation.

Where is the East Pine Substation Located?

Location of East Pine Substation

What are Eight Frequently Asked Questions (including how can I provide input)?

Q1) What would happen without the expansion of the two walls?

Answer: If this expansion cannot take place, it may mean extremely costly measures will be required inside the existing substation to augment reliability. Without the extra space, some of the planned improvements may not be possible.

Q2) What would be done after expanding the substation wall? How will that affect me?

Answer: Though security is reason enough to modify the substation wall, equipment would get added in four to five years in the extra created space. It would be high­ voltage circuit breakers to improve system reliability. The equipment would not increase the current flow or capacity, and would have no impact on the electro- magnetic fields.

There will not be any increased noise from the property as the circuit breakers would be set in a low-profile enclosure. A circuit breaker only produces noise when it operates, which is not on a daily basis. Its main function is to interrupt abnormal electrical current and protect more expensive equipment. The intermittent noise produced by a circuit breaker’s operation is much lower than a broom stick falling on the floor when heard from across the street.

Q3) Is the expansion to the north and west the only alternative for the new footprint of the substation?

Answer: Yes, due to the space required by the equipment, this expansion cannot efficiently/effectively include the south and east side. 

Q4) What is being done to address the historic look of the wall?

Answer: The East Pine Substation is currently not listed as a Seattle Landmark. However, City Light will be self-nominating the substation and has hired a historic resources consultant to assist with this effort.  City Light will be following the City of Seattle's historic preservation regulations and guidelines.  If the substation is designated a Landmark, the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties will be applied to proposed changes to the substation and walls.

If someone would like to be added to the Architectural Review Committee and Landmarks Board meeting agenda distribution lists, they should contact Melinda Bloom at melinda.bloom@seattle.gov.  If someone would like to submit written public comment they should contact Erin Doherty at erin.doherty@seattle.gov.

Q5) What will be done to protect trees along 22nd Avenue?

Answer: Though City Light would prefer to protect all vegetation, impacts may occur. More will be understood as the design reaches 30%.

Q6) Where are you in the process? What is the schedule?

Answer: This schedule is tentative and subject to change:

  • Final submission to nominate East Pine Substation to the Landmarks Preservation Board as a historical landmark................Q4, 2017
  • Design at 30% ........Q3, 2018
    • Customer comments received here
  • Design at 90%..........Q4, 2018
    • City Light report out to customers on status of comments
  • Design at 100%.........Q4, 2018
  • Start Bid Phase for construction ...............Q1, 2018
  • Award Public Works Contract ...................Q3, 2019
  • Construction Start...................................Q3, 2019
  • Construction Finish...................................Q4, 2020

Q7)      What about safety?

Answer: Customer and crew safety are the top priority for Seattle City Light.  No power outages are anticipated during construction.

Q8)    When is the opportunity for input?

Answer: When the project has reached 30% design, Seattle City Light plans to host a community meeting.

You can also send questions or get your name added for future notifications by emailing: SCL_CommOutreach@seattle.gov

Customers can also contact: Percy Schlimm, Sr. Electrical Service Representative, at percy.schlimm@seattle.gov and (206) 386-1735 or Mark VanOss, Sr. Public Relations Specialist, mark.vanoss@seattle.gov and (206) 684-3279.


Construction Start: Tentative: 3rd Quarter, 2019

Duration: Tentatively 3rd Quarter 2019 to 2nd Quarter 2020

Daily Work Schedule: To be determined

Alternate Contact: Mark VanOss - Sr. Public Relations Specialist

Alternative Contact Phone: (206) 684-3279

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