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Seattle City Light Celebrates its "World's Coolest Substation"

Last month, nearly 1,000 community members gathered in Seattle’s bustling South Lake Union area to celebrate the unveiling of Denny Substation and its many public amenities. Seattle City Light’s first new substation in 30 years, Denny Substation is a unique example of innovative infrastructure built in the middle of an ever-evolving, dense and diverse neighborhood, and designed with those neighbors in mind.

Seattle City Light hosted the event as a thank you to all those who were involved in the project, from residents and community groups from the Cascade and South Lake Union neighborhoods who participated in the public process and endured construction, to the project team, contractors and elected officials. Attendees enjoyed food trucks, ice cream, a DJ and the opportunity to explore the public benefits, including community spaces and public art installations. Community members of the canine variety took advantage of the substation’s off-leash dog park.

Off-leash area at Denny Substation

The Denny Substation Community Celebration included remarks from City Light General Manager and CEO Debra Smith, Deputy Mayor David Moseley, Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Bob Cowan, Director of Facilities Engineering at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and John Pehrson, South Lake Union Community Task Force and resident of the Cascade neighborhood. In her opening remarks, Smith lauded the substation and the collaborative effort to make it a reality.

“Denny Substation will ensure reliable power that allows us to keep pace with Seattle’s current and future electrical needs,” said Debra Smith, City Light General Manager and CEO. “Seattle City Light worked with the community to design the Denny Substation to fit the neighborhood’s character, provide needed community amenities and serve as a model for environmental sustainability. I am proud of how Seattle has come together to make this critical investment and create what some are calling the ‘world’s coolest substation.’”

The Denny Substation, energized in May 2018, is a long-term asset for City Light’s entire system, providing reliability and flexibility through the ability to back up adjacent substations. It was designed to last 50-100 years with the capacity to accommodate future needs in this neighborhood and beyond.

See all the Denny Substation Community Celebration event photos.

View the Denny Substation video shown at the event.

Nathan MacDonald's picture

Thank Nathan for the Post!

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 20, 2019 10:15 pm GMT

This is a really cool story, thanks for sharing Nathan. It seems like T&D, and perhaps the utility industry as a whole, is often seen as a bit of a black box and just a given to be assumed by those not in the industry, but by this event looks to show how much of a 'member' of the community the utility company really is. 

Have you heard any feedback from customers/locals about if and how this changed their perception of the utility?

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