Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Where's It Wednesday—LI

Where in Seattle is this?

Somewhere in Seattle... but where?

Answer next week.

Details on the weekly Where's It Wednesday puzzle here.
Other weeks' puzzles here.
Answer to last week's puzzle, after the jump.

Last week's picture was shot from my car window while driving south along the doomed Alaskan Way Viaduct. It shows, as several of you guessed, the operations of Seattle Steam:
Seattle Steam is a privately-owned utility that provides reliable and sustainable heat to approximately 200 buildings in Seattle's Central Business District and First Hill neighborhoods. Seattle Steam's mission is to deliver a reliable, cost-effective and efficient source of heat that benefits its customers, the environment and the Seattle community.
Seattle Steam on Western Avenue

Seattle Steam is a district energy system that provides heat to multiple customers from one central plant, a much more efficient approach than each building having its own boiler. Even though they have traditionally burned natural gas and diesel (but are moving to biomass) it still is environmentally friendlier. There are many other uses of steam beyond heat as well, and one interesting aspect of their business is how many customers use the steam for other purposes:
Seattle Steam's biggest customers are Swedish Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and Virginia Mason Medical Center, which use the steam for heat and sterilization. Other big customers include hotels, which use the steam for heat and for generating hot water, Seattle Public Library, which uses it for heat and the Seattle Art Museum, which uses it for heat and humidity control.
Their statistics are impressive: 191 customers served 24/7/365. Even more amazing: they've been doing this for more than 100 years. That's a long green record!

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