Seattle to use wood to boost city's 'green' push

SEATTLE Seattle Steam Co.'s bio-mass boiler project was named one of 18 initiatives in the report and recommendations issued in March by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection. Seattle Steam plans to replace one of its existing natural gas boilers with one that uses recycled wood, which is a renewable energy product. It is included as a recommended method for Seattle

SEATTLE — Seattle Steam Co.'s bio-mass boiler project was named one of 18 initiatives in the report and recommendations issued in March by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' Green Ribbon Commission on Climate Protection.

Seattle Steam plans to replace one of its existing natural gas boilers with one that uses recycled wood, which is a renewable energy product. It is included as a recommended method for Seattle to achieve more efficient and cleaner energy for its homes and businesses. The company calculates that using wood as a fuel would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50,000 tons annually.

Seattle Steam provides steam for space heating and domestic hot water to 175 downtown Seattle customers, including most governmental facilities, many large skyscrapers, hotels and three major hospitals.

An April 3 cover story on global warming in Time magazine singled out Nickels as the founder of the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in February 2005. So far, 218 mayors in 39 states have signed on to the program to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their cities.

"I convened this Green Ribbon Commission last year because our national leaders were not leading us in the fight against global warming," Nickels said.

The commission's recommendations include strengthening energy efficiency requirements in the state's residential building code. Other recommendations cover topics such as improving public transportation, encouraging bicycling, and increasing tolls and parking fees.

Seattle Steam President and CEO Stan Gent expressed his support of Nickels' goals to reduce the effects of global warming in the city and applauded his leadership efforts.

"Numerous recent studies continue to identify the real effects of climate change to our planet, and specifically the rapid warming of the Pacific Northwest region," Gent said. "It is clear that the only way to really solve the global warming problem facing us is for government, businesses and the broader community to work to together to effect change."

Seattle Steam operates two steam plans in downtown Seattle and was named the International District Energy Association's System of the Year in 2003. More information is available at www.seattlesteam.com