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What’s next for possible City Light towers on Capitol Hill?

Way back in October, CHS told you about the least desirable — but cheapest — alternative route across Capitol Hill for the 115 kilovolt transmission line and 100-foot towers to fully connect the planned Denny Substation to Seattle’s electrical grid. The final day for public comment was back in November.

Earlier this week, Seattle business news outlet the Daily Journal of Commerce took a swing at the story noting the issue has “produced some sparks” on Capitol Hill but not squeezing anything new out of Seattle City Light.

So, what comes next?


A City Light spokesperson tells CHS that the team working on the project is planning to wrap up the State Environmental Policy Act documentation including “a summarization of all the comments that were submitted during the public EIS Scoping period – including oral and written comments received during three public meetings, and comments received via email and regular mail” by the end of January.

The spokesperson said City Light officials are also in talks with “other agencies and entities having expertise or jurisdiction affecting transmission alternatives and other project elements.”

One additional alternative that won’t be added to the mix is the possibility of using the downtown deep bore tunnel. City Light says the route was considered  but engineers concluded that adding the Denny-Massachusetts circuit to the seawall is not desirable: “Not only is the route longer and therefore more expensive, but Seattle City Light already has several transmission circuits running along the Elliot Bay Waterfront, and including another would worsen the magnitude of a single point of failure for multiple circuits.”

While there is no specific deadline set for a decision on the transmission line route, City Light did provide a timeline for the Denny Substation project. As you can see below, the “Environmental Review” track is just getting started.

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2 thoughts on “What’s next for possible City Light towers on Capitol Hill?

  1. This is a non-issue. They have to have a cheapest alternative because if they don’t, people will ask why they didn’t. It’s sort of like the old Sears catalog: They had a “good”, “better”, and “best” option on most hard-line goods, with the idea of getting people to at least buy the “better”.

    By all means, keep up the pressure, but I suspect that nobody wants that option, and City Light is aiming for one of the underground options.