Since last September, Seattle City Light has been trying to convince the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee that it should be allowed to join the California Independent Systems Operators (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). On its face, it seems like an easy decision, and if SCL had done a better job on its initial pitch to the Council it might have gone through quickly. But they didn’t, and the Council members asked for more information. As the details have emerged, the case for joining the EIM has become murkier. It’s an interesting case study on the state of the power industry, and it points to some big challenges for Seattle City Light.
Let’s unpack this.
Continue reading Should Seattle City Light join the energy imbalance market?
Larry Weis, General Manager of Seattle City Light, told the council this morning that its new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system is rolling out, and installation of new meters will ramp up this summer.
Continue reading Seattle City Light rolling out new AMI connected meters
Yesterday, Seattle Public Utilities briefed the City Council on their efforts to update the utility’s Strategic Business Plan. The news wasn’t good.
Continue reading SPU’s bad news: your bill is going way up in 2019
Wednesday afternoon in his Education, Equity and Governance Committee, Council President Bruce Harrell pushed the Seattle IT department to go farther and faster in investigating public Wi-Fi as an alternative to municipal broadband in key areas of the city.
Continue reading Harrell pushing for expanding public Wi-Fi in Seattle
In this afternoon’s Full Council meeting, there are two agenda items. Both of them surfaced disagreements among the Council members, and both times an unlikely voting bloc emerged: Sawant and Harrell.
Continue reading The Council argues about things, and strange bedfellows emerge
Seattle generates a little over 300,000 tons of non-recycled solid waste per year. The contract for hauling away and disposing of all that garbage, under the auspices of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), has been in place since 1990 and runs until 2028. But the Council is now arguing over whether it should opt out in order to put it out to bid for the first time in over a quarter century.
Continue reading Council mulls over terms of solid waste disposal contract
As part of the city’s “digital equity” push, in 2015 Seattle explored creating its own public internet access provider to compete with Comcast, CenturyTel, and other private companies and ensure that high-speed broadband was available uniformly across the city. However, that approach was shown to be infeasible, so the Mayor shelved the plan — despite the loud protests from Council member Sawant.
Now the City is discussing a different, creative approach that might accomplish much of the same digital equity goal.
Continue reading City takes creative approach to digital equity
Surveillance cameras on city-owned street poles tops the news this morning.
Continue reading Wednesday news roundup: surveillance cameras
It’s looking increasingly like Seattle will greet the new year with a major cold snap, with highs around freezing and dropping to the low 20’s overnight. But the long-term outlook suggests we might see more of the same before spring arrives.
Before the Council began its holiday recess, it received a briefing from several city departments on their preparations for winter weather as well as the outreach and messages to the city’s residents.
At the end of this post is a list of the best ways to get information and report problems during a severe weather event, as well as information on how you can prepare in advance.
Continue reading Seattle’s Winter Weather Preparedness, and What You Should Do