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Puget Sound Energy launches plan to help power the region’s economic growth
With growth straining the region’s existing electric transmission system, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) announced plans to upgrade the system so Eastside communities will continue to receive safe and dependable power in the future. The Energize Eastside project will address the demand for power related to the growth.
• The region from Renton to Bellevue to Redmond has become a major economic and employment center with 140,000 jobs and 143 corporate headquarters.
• Bellevue’s central district population will expand by more than 275 percent by the year 2040.
• Renton’s population is expected to grow more than 36 percent in the same period, with employment growing nearly 40 percent.
Projections show customer demand will exceed PSE’s ability to supply reliable power as soon as the winter of 2017-18. Without an upgrade, the Eastside’s electric transmission system will lose redundancy, increasing the possibility of outages for as many as 60,000 homes and businesses.
PSE and its customers have taken significant steps to get the most out of today’s system, including substantial conservation actions.
To ensure the continued delivery of safe and dependable power to the region, PSE has initiated the Energize Eastside project, which will support the area’s growth in economic development, jobs and neighborhoods.
“I’ve lived here most of my life, and believe the Energize Eastside project will help our area continue to attract new jobs and withstand severe storms,” said Andy Wappler, PSE vice president of corporate affairs. “We’re committed to working with the community as we continue to build the kind of safe, dependable electric infrastructure needed to keep the Eastside a great place to live and work.”
Energize Eastside overview:
• The project will include new electric transmission lines that run about 18 miles between an existing PSE substation in Redmond and one in Renton.
• PSE’s engineers and planners have analyzed hundreds of potential route corridors. They’ve narrowed the possibilities to 16 route segments, which will be discussed at community meetings beginning in January.
• PSE will not know the exact route until a thorough outreach process has been completed to hear from the public and other stakeholders. That outreach begins early next year and will continue through 2014.
• PSE will chose a final route after a thorough evaluation process that considers requirements and constraints along with input gathered during the outreach process.
• Construction will not begin for a few years. It takes time to plan, permit and build transmission lines, which is why PSE is getting started now.