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Substations Can Be Beautiful


When you think of substations, you don’t think of beautiful, unless you happen to visit the Denny Substation in Seattle. Recently completed, it took Seattle City Light two years to build the 44,000 square-foot project which doubles as a public park. With two indoor community spaces and an elevated walkway, the building spans two city blocks which also features an off-leash dog park and green space.


Originally, Seattle City Light did not envision such a postcard-worthy icon but since the plan was to occupy so much space, the utility needed a reason to show residents that building a substation was a positive change for the city. While building a typical substation would have been slightly more economical, community pride outweighed the decision to build a traditional chain-link infrastructure.


The Denny Substation features state-of-the-art electrical equipment and its unique design will serve a growing area of high-tech and bio-tech industries. Underground transmission and distribution lines reduce the visual impact and the substation even generates some of its own electricity through solar power.


While the majority of the site functions as a substation, the switchgears, transformers, capacitor banks, and cable equipment are only accessible by City Light personnel and technicians. You can learn more about the Denny Substation and view a slideshow of the interesting architecture by clicking here.