- Fall 2020 Update: Energize Eastside substation construction begins and permitting moves ahead

Progress continues on PSE’s Energize Eastside project – with construction underway on the new Richards Creek substation, the recent King County Superior Court decision denying opponent’s appeals, and the City of Newcastle permitting public hearing expected this fall.

Richards Creek substation construction underway

With the City of Bellevue’s issuance of construction permits for the new Richards Creek substation, the Energize Eastside project has reached a critical milestone. Construction of the new substation in south Bellevue is underway and is the first step in constructing the project.

The Richards Creek substation, which will be connected to the electric grid by upgrading transmission lines in the existing corridor between Redmond and Renton, will provide additional capacity to ensure the Eastside’s electric system can accommodate our customers’ growing energy needs into the future. 

The substation construction work will be phased and is expected to continue through fall 2021. We aim to complete the work safely, efficiently, and in a way that minimizes disruptions. We’ll keep the local community informed of our work and progress. For more information on the substation’s construction activities, visit our Construction webpage. 

Permitting process moving forward

The project continues to advance through each individual jurisdiction’s permitting process – we’ve received Conditional Land Use Permit (CUP) approvals for south Bellevue and Renton, and anticipate a permitting-related hearing in Newcastle later this year.

Consistent with our phased construction approach, PSE has focused on permitting the south half of the project first. PSE's plan is to build and energize the new Richards Creek substation in Bellevue and upgrade the transmission lines in south Bellevue, Newcastle, and Renton first, then construct the northern portion in north Bellevue and Redmond. We expect to begin construction of the southern transmission lines in spring 2021 after we’ve worked through the necessary permitting process. Additionally, we’ve initiated the permitting process for the north half of the project.

King County Superior Court decision denies opponent’s appeals

On Sept. 21, 2020, King County Superior Court published the decision to deny appeals by project opponents. We’re pleased with the Court’s decision, which upholds City of Bellevue’s approval of a Conditional Land Use Permit for the south Bellevue portion of the project. 

The decisions by the Superior Court, Bellevue City Council and Bellevue Hearing Examiner, as well as the City of Bellevue staff report’s conclusions, were based on the project’s extensive record. The 15,000-page record demonstrates that Energize Eastside is in accordance with the City’s land use code and affirms the need for the project to address the reliability of the Eastside’s electric grid.