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Electrical Power System Engineer, Principal

Seattle City Light

Seattle, Washington 98124
Job Type:
Job Status:
Full Time
  • Energy
  • Power Engineering
Seattle City Light
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Job Details

Seattle City Light, a department of the City of Seattle, is one of the nation's largest municipally owned utilities in terms of the number of customers served. Over the years we have worked very hard to keep Seattle's electricity affordable, reliable, and environmentally sound. Today, City Light is a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.
We are seeking a Transmission System Engineer to join our Transmission Engineering unit. The incumbent will serve as a principal engineer, working collaboratively with professional engineers and staff to develop mutually agreed solutions to improve SCL's transmission system. 
The Transmission Supervisor applies sophisticated management principles and skills to direct the field and engineering aspects of Seattle City Light's electrical transmission system in a safe, cost effective manner that results in reliable, low?cost energy that meets our customers' needs. This includes management of the planning, design, and construction of transmission-related Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs), as well as Operations & Maintenance (O&M) issues.
The duties also include strategic direction and administers the delivery of operations of the Transmission Section, supervising and evaluating assigned personnel and establishing and overseeing section policies and programs. This position manages two key personnel with major policy impacts in the department, City?wide or regional level. Decision?making environment requires strategic judgments where there are generally few prescribed or established approaches.
 This position will report to the Senior Network Manager.

Job Responsibilities

Financial Management
  • Manages the Transmission section's financial performance in a responsible manner that results in long?term financial stability and predictable spending (rates for customers).
  • Prepares and administers a large organizational budget and capital plan that reflects the division's and section's priorities while using SCL's budgeting process and other financial policies.
  • Plans and allocates resources to meet strategic work priorities and goals.
  • Understands and uses financial indicators, budgets and forecasts to manage organizational performance.
  • Uses financial analysis tools to create and evaluate best value alternatives and strategic opportunities.

Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance

  • Remains current concerning regulations, laws, and policies relating to transmission issues.
  • Ensures compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Keeps abreast of upcoming regulatory/legal changes; participates in the development of regulations and legislative actions.
  • Defines appropriate level of environmental stewardship and manages the demands and resources associated with being environmentally responsible.
  • Lays out plans and estimates costs for constructing transmission lines: Visits proposed construction site and selects best and shortest route to avoid interference with telephone or other lines.
  • Submits data on proposed route to right-of-way department for obtaining necessary easements.
  • Arranges for aerial, topographical, and other surveys to be made to obtain pertinent data for planning lines.
  • Devises steel and wood supporting structures for cables and draws sketch showing their location.
  • Performs detailed engineering calculations to draw up construction specifications, such as cable sag, pole strength, underground cable sizes, ampacity, thermal limitations, and necessary grounding.
  • Estimates labor, material, and construction costs, and draws up specifications for purchase of materials and equipment.
  • Keeps informed on new developments in overhead and underground electric power transmission.
  • Assists various departments of SCL on problems involving transmission-line operation and maintenance.
  • Collect and analyze transmission outage information.
  • Assist staff with analyzing transmission system reliability statistics when considering the merits of connecting new member delivery points at various transmission voltages.
  • Work with the SCL staff to conduct root cause investigations for transmission outages.
  • Work with systems and transmission owners to analyze, develop, and oversee a plan for improving transmission system reliability.
  • Provides review of and recommend any changes to SCL's agreements with current transmission owners, as well as any future agreements, which would yield improved transmission reliability.
  • Prepares formal, written recommendations for proposed reinforcements or additions to members-owned, and third-party-owned transmission systems which would improve reliability at delivery points
  • Inspects completed installation.

Strategic Planning and Direction

  • As a supervising principal, participates and contributes to the creation of SCL's strategic plan and direction; assist in defining section's strategic direction by developing a long-term business plan.
  • Monitors performance against the Transmission Business Plan through development and tracking of key performance indicators.
  • Anticipates and analyzes trends, developments and issues in the industry and recommend changes in direction as needed.
  • Delivers clear, well?organized presentations; projects credibility and poise even in highly visible, adversarial situations; uses a smooth, polished delivery style; actively engages the audience during presentations; answers questions clearly and concisely; leads effective meetings.

Operations Management

  • Supervises the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance functions of the transmission system.
  • Organizes, coordinates and directs the operation, maintenance and improvement of SCL's electrical transmission system to ensure reliability and competitive rates.
  • Keeps City Light's bigger picture in mind when making decisions at the section level.
  • Provides cost?effective, high quality, value?added services that meet or exceed customer expectations.
  • Develops and maintains effective operational systems and processes that assure reliable delivery of services, including customer feedback, equipment maintenance, safety and risk management.
  • Continually identifies innovative ways to deliver services.
  • Monitors and reviews projects and activities at the section?level to assure schedules are met, problems are anticipated and resolved, and adequate communications are taking place (with individuals, workgroups, sections, and outside agencies), and results are achieved.

Human Resource Management

  • Hires, motivates, leads and supports the engineers of the section so that they are trained and best equipped to do their respective jobs in the most effective, efficient and safe manner.
  • Manages performance for direct reports and all staff by ensuring processes are in place for setting clear expectations, providing on?going feedback, coaching and training, and holding people accountable for achieving measurable results.
  • Ensures clarity regarding responsibility, decision?making and communication.
  • Fosters high morale by maintaining a supportive, positive, challenging and productive work environment for employees.
  • Attracts and recruits high caliber people, especially power engineers; creates an environment that promotes continuous learning and development; encourages and values diversity; accurately appraises the strengths and weaknesses of direct reports; provides accurate, motivating feedback and constructive criticism; develops successors and talent pools for key positions.
  • Understands SCL HR policies and procedures, and ensures best practices are administered to avoid organizational implications, i.e., FMLA, ADA, discipline, etc.

Policy Development and Influence

  • Develops and presents recommendations to the Network Manager and Director and Policy Makers on a wide array of policy matters.
  • Provides supervision and oversight for the daily operations of the Transmission Unit by effectively administering established policies.
  • Represents the section with policy makers, outside agencies and the public.

Interdepartmental and Intergovernmental Relations

  • Develops strong relationships with key people and organizations at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Ensures collaborations with local and regional governmental agencies so that coordinated and cost?effective services are delivered to customers.
  • Ensures good relationships and collaboration with other SCL and City of Seattle departments so that the most efficient and effective delivery of products and services is provided, and the most effective use of resources is achieved. 
  • Initiates and develops open, candid and trusting relationships with other SCL supervisors; treats all people with dignity and respect; appreciates differences in perspective and background; seeks to improve how the team works together.
  • Understands the role and interrelationship of each organizational function promotes collaboration and teamwork across the organization; uses staff functions effectively; knows how to get things done in a complex, multi?level organization.


Additional Information

Job offers are contingent on the verification of credentials and other information required by the employment process including the completion of a background check which includes criminal history and driving history review.

Want to know more about Seattle City Light? Check out our web page:


Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering or equivalent.   A Master's degree in Electrical Engineering may be substituted for one year of experience.
Six years of professional electrical system engineering equivalent to the electrical power system engineer and two additional years  supervisory, lead or project management experience. Requires advanced experienced with defining, interpreting and organizing major system wide projects that involve multiple jurisdictions and complex engineering circumstances
Experience/Education Equivalency: A combination of education/and/or training and/or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the class may substitute for the required education or experience.

For field assignments, incumbent must be willing and able to work in all types of weather and in, or near, construction sites where there will be exposure to traffic, hazardous or toxic substances, and high voltage energized equipment. Incumbent may be required to work nights, evenings, weekends or holidays. 

  • Registration as a Professional Electrical Engineer in the State of Washington. (No substitution allowed).
  • Driver's License or equivalent mobility

Preference will be given to candidates with knowledge of electrical engineering and experience in any of the following disciplines: Transmission, Planning, Substations or Distribution Engineering:

  • Experience in transmission system design, planning, maintenance and operations.
  • Knowledge of and direct experience with electric power system reliability standards is preferred.
  • Experience coordinating construction crews.
  • Project management skills.  Experience with Capital Improvement Projects (CIPS), including monitoring and administering contracts.
  • Experience in supervision in an engineering environment, including personnel issues such as selection, training and conflict management.
  • Knowledge of 115kV and 230 kV underground and overhead electrical design and experience as a lead for engineering and technical employees
  • Computer skills such as PLS-CAD, CYMCAP, WAMS, AutoCAD, Word, Materials Request preparation, RevAMPs, Excel, Windows and/or Microsoft Project. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to create and deliver presentations. 
  • Abilities to handle shifting and multiple priorities and to work as a team member in a diverse work force. 
  • Willingness to learn and accept responsibility, comply with safety rules and regulations, work efficiently, effectively and independently.

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