Broad Street Substation Inductor

Substation icon

Exterior of the Broad Street Substation

Project Description

Seattle City Light is committed to producing and delivering environmentally responsible, safe, low-cost, and reliable power. As part of this commitment, we plan to make system improvements at the Broad Street Substation that will increase the reliability of our power grid. The Broad Street Substation distributes electricity to local neighborhoods but also plays a role in the transmission of high voltage electricity to the region.


The Broad Street Substation is located near Seattle Center on the block between 6th Avenue North, Harrison, Thomas and Broad streets.

What's Happening Now?

Project Update (October 2023): This project is currently under construction and is on schedule to be completed in December 2024.

Community Benefits

Along with other projects, the Broad Street Substation Inductor Project will reduce congestion and upgrade the reliability of the transmission system, lessening the risk of region-wide customer power outages in the future.

Anticipated Impacts

Most of the construction will be contained within the substation. Primary activities will include installing underground cables, concrete pads and new equipment. There will need to be a small number of road or lane closures on Harrison Street to allow for the delivery of the new equipment.

In its continuing effort to keep pace with the region's growth and to provide reliable power to customers, Seattle City Light is planning to make improvements to the Broad Street Substation. In late 2017, City Light identified a preferred option for substation improvements, which involves installing new electrical equipment at the Broad Street Substation. City Light held a public open house and conducted briefings with area stakeholders to present and solicit feedback on the preferred option.

The preferred option required the acquisition of the now closed portion of Broad Street (at Taylor Avenue North and Harrison Street) through a process called street vacation. The first step in the street vacation process was receiving approval from the Seattle Design Commission. It is the Commission's job to approve the project's urban design merit and proposed public benefits. The Commission determines whether and how the vacation affects the remaining streets or alleys near the project and whether potential impacts (to vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation; access; utilities; light, air, and open space; and views) have been adequately addressed. It also determines whether the proposed public benefits are adequate compensation for the loss of public right-of-way.

In the spring of 2018, City Light presented the preferred option to the Seattle Design Commission. At that meeting the Design Commission requested that City Light take a closer look at the proposed walls around the substation to reduce their impact on the surrounding neighborhood. City Light then worked with the Design Commission to develop new options for the wall and met with area stakeholders to solicit feedback on those options.

City Light presented a refined option briefing to the Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee in July 2018. The record of that meeting can be found here. City Light presented a refined option to the Seattle Design Commission in August 2018. The Commission voted unanimously to approve the urban design merit and public benefit for the project. The minutes from that meeting can be found here.

Following approval from the Seattle Design Commission, City Light presented the street vacation proposal to the Seattle City Council Sustainability and Transportation Committee on December 4, 2018. After receiving approval from that Committee, the street vacation was put before a vote of the full Council on December 10. The street vacation was granted as conditioned unanimously and is now proceeding to the final stage of design. The record of City Council votes can be found here.

City Light estimates that construction will start in early 2023, once a contractor has been brought on.

Timeline of Broad Street Substation project

City Light

Dawn Lindell, General Manager and CEO
Address: 700 5th Ave, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34023, Seattle, WA, 98124-4023
Phone: (206) 684-3000

Seattle City Light was created by the citizens of Seattle in 1902 to provide affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power to the City of Seattle and neighboring suburbs.