Last week Seattle City Light announced a new plan to tackle the cause of Queen Anne’s frequent power outages and prevent future blackouts: injecting the neighborhood’s aging underground cables with silicone. City Light is holding a meeting tonight, Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. (at the Queen Anne Community Center, Room 3, located at 1901 1st Ave W.) to brief residents on the project, what the work will entail, and answer any questions or concerns.
Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell sent out this message to community members this week encouraging participation in tonight’s meeting:
Beginning this June, Seattle City Light will begin a 10-week underground cable injection project on Queen Anne that will increase reliability of electrical service and add 25 years of life to aging underground cables. City Light is working with a company called Novinium to inject the aging underground cables with silicone. The process fills cracks that have developed in the cable insulation that can lead to power failures. The project is planned to begin in mid-June and is estimated to last about 10 weeks. On a typical day, crews will work between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Cables determined to be beyond repair will have to be replaced and customers will be notified at least one week in advance of any planned outages which may be necessary to replace the cable.
The silicone injection process is a great alternative to digging up and replacing old cables because it will cost less and be less disruptive to the neighborhood while extending the life of the existing cables. The process has been successfully applied to projects in Leschi, View Ridge, Laurelhurst and Arroyo Beach. When we can employ methods that enhance reliability, cost less and minimize disruption to customers, it is a step in the right direction.