- Energize Eastside’s permitting process nears completion
Redmond’s Hearing Examiner has approved Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE’s) Energize Eastside project after strong local support at a hearing last month. The approval of the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the Redmond portion of the project means that only one additional permit requirement remains, the CUP for the north Bellevue portion of the project. CUPs were previously issued for the south Bellevue, Newcastle and Renton portions of the project.
At the June 6th Redmond hearing, local residents and businesses voiced their support for the first major upgrade to the Eastside’s electric grid since the 1960s. They spoke about how the Energize Eastside project will improve the capacity and reliability of the Eastside’s electric grid.
The Hearing Examiner’s decision was based on thousands of pages of application materials, studies by PSE and independent experts retained by Redmond and the other Partner Cities during the Environmental Impact Statement process, as well as the public testimony.
Energize Eastside includes constructing the new Richards Creek substation in Bellevue and upgrading approximately 16 miles of existing transmission lines within the existing corridor from 115 kilovolts (kV) to 230 kV. Combined with continued electric conservation, Energize Eastside will keep the lights on for homes and businesses in Eastside communities for years to come. By using the existing corridor, the project will limit the impact to communities and the environment as compared to a new corridor.
The final CUP needed is for the north Bellevue portion of the project, which is expected to go to hearing later this year. The new Richards Creek substation in south Bellevue will be put into service upon completion of the south half of the transmission line, which is currently under construction. Construction in Redmond is anticipated to begin once construction for the southern portion of the project is complete.