Light reading: January / February 2022 – Power lines

Seattle City Light explores renewable hydrogen fuel in Port of Seattle with Department of Energy awards

Last year, a team from Seattle City Light, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories began exploring the potential of switching from fossil fuels to clean hydrogen as a fuel to power medium and heavy vehicles. This work is supported by two US Department of Energy awards totaling $ 2.12 million to help meet emission reduction targets set by Seattle City Light and the Port of Seattle. The study team also includes partners from the Northwest Seaport Alliance and PACCAR / Kenworth.

Clean hydrogen is expected to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, especially in some of the more difficult to decarbonize shipping and trucking industries. Hydrogen production and hydrogen-powered medium and heavy-duty vehicles are one possible solution to diverting some of these fossil fuel uses, with potential benefits that will continue to grow with the project itself.

A screenshot from an animation of how the renewable hydrogen infrastructure works at the Port of Seattle
The ports of Seattle and Tacoma through the Northwest Seaport Alliance are planning a clean energy future. One possible strategy is to produce and store zero-emission green hydrogen to power heavy vehicles at new service stations. Once the hydrogen infrastructure is in place, planners plan to use it to generate on-demand shore power for shore-based vessels to replace the burning of diesel fuel or to recharge electric tugs and others. ships. Hydrogen even has the potential to power a mini-grid at the port, providing crucial back-up power in the event of a natural disaster. (Facilitated by Sara Levine | National Laboratory of the Pacific Northwest)

For City Light Managing Director and CEO Debra Smith, considering adding clean hydrogen refueling to the utility’s expanding energy portfolio is another example of how City Light is working to diversify choice. energy from its customers.

“As our industry has evolved, so has our customers’ demand to meet their specific energy needs with sustainable and environmentally friendly energy. It is more important than ever for Seattle City Light to work with our customers who want to address the climate crisis by decarbonizing their operations, ”said Smith. “We are delighted to partner with these agencies to implement a cleaner future for our customers at the port and our region as a whole. ”

The team expects two years to produce the final recommendations for the project. We will continue to provide updates as important milestones are reached. You can read more about this innovative work here.

Be prepared for the next power outage
Preparing for a power outage can go a long way to keep you and your family comfortable, informed, and most importantly, safe. Check out our blog post at for tips and resources on how to prepare.

Keep an eye out for crooks
We continue to receive a high volume of reports of scammers calling in customers to demand payment. We have also received reports of scammers demanding payment through third-party payment apps. If someone calls you to demand payment rather than trying to work out a payment plan with you, that person is a con artist. Hang up immediately and call (206) 684-3000 to verify your account.

Support clean energy with Green Up
Green up is a voluntary renewable energy program that allows you to support wind, solar and other renewable energy projects in the Pacific Northwest. You also help us fund rooftop solar projects hosted by nonprofits like schools, parks and affordable housing organizations. Learn more at

Payment assistance programs are available
The impact of the pandemic continues to create significant financial hardship for our customers. City light is committed to ensuring that all customers have access to clean energy, regardless of their income. Here are some of the financial aid programs available through City Light to help ease the burden during this time. Visit seattle.Gov/city-light/paymentassistance to learn more.

Generators can be efficient during a power outage, but they should be used with care. Always use portable generators outdoors in well ventilated areas and away from your home.

Seattle City Light teams are located in these neighborhoods and strive to provide reliable service:

Arroyo / South Arbor Heights: Completion of underground cable installation and disposal of obsolete street lighting equipment

Belltown: System upgrades on 2nd Avenue and Battery Street

Service area: replacing aging utility poles to improve safety and reliability

South Lake Union: Building upgrades at Denny Substation and civilian upgrades on Thomas Street

Wedgwood: Replacing Aging Underground Infrastructure to Improve Reliability

This is a partial list. For more details, visit to access our map and learn more about the individual projects.

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