- City of Bellevue approves PSE’s Energize Eastside permit

Puget Sound Energy’s Energize Eastside project has achieved another key milestone as the City of Bellevue Hearing Examiner approves a Conditional Use Permit for the south Bellevue portion of the project. The decision moves the project another step closer to construction and advances a more dependable power grid for Eastside residents and businesses.

“We’re pleased with this decision and look forward to moving forward on this critical reliability project,” Keri Pravitz, Community Projects Manager, said, “We appreciate the care the City and the Hearing Examiner took to review the project.”

The Hearing Examiner’s decision was based on an extensive record. The record includes about 15,000 pages of application materials, studies by PSE and independent experts retained by Bellevue and the other Partner Cities during the Final Environmental Impact Statement process, analysis by Bellevue’s Department of Development Services and testimony from the public hearing that allowed every interested stakeholder the opportunity to present and voice views on the project’s application.

“Energize Eastside is important to the health and vitality of the entire Eastside community– from neighborhoods and businesses to schools, hospitals and manufacturers– we all depend on safe, reliable power,” Pravitz said.

Pravitz explained that the Energize Eastside project proposes to use the existing transmission line corridor that has served the area for nearly 100 years. The last major upgrade to this “backbone” of the Eastside’s electric grid was in the 1960s. Since then, the area’s population has grown eight-fold, and the demands residents and businesses place on the system have increased dramatically.

The project will improve the capacity and reliability of the Eastside’s electric grid by building a new substation and upgrading existing transmission lines. By using the existing corridor, impacts to communities and the environment are limited, which was confirmed in Bellevue’s approval of permit applications for the project elements located in south Bellevue. Combined with continued electric conservation, the project will keep the lights on for the Eastside’s growing communities for years to come.

To read the City of Bellevue’s Hearing Examiner decision, you can find it on the City's website under the Public Hearing tab.