- PSE Announces Preferred Route for Energize Eastside

Route Responds to Community Feedback; Will Be Evaluated During Phase 2 of Environmental Analysis

PSE is responsible for keeping the lights on for all customers. We take this responsibility very seriously.

It’s been 50 years since the last major upgrade of the backbone of the Eastside’s electric grid. Growth studies project that demand for electricity will exceed the current system capacity as early as winter 2017-2018. In total, five independent studies have all confirmed the need to address this issue. Energize Eastside addresses the demand caused by this unprecedented growth by upgrading the existing system so Eastside communities will continue to receive safe and dependable power for the future.

Photo simulation comparing existing conditions to what the corridor would look like with Energize Eastside

We have listened

PSE has heard from nearly 2,000 people over the past two years through the Community Advisory Group process, open houses, consultations and many, many comments. We’ve been listening to this input.

We’ve learned that pole height, view impacts and safety are key concerns for residents along the corridor. 

Through the Environmental Impact Statement process, we’ve continued to listen. We’ve also learned more about the existing transmission line corridor through fieldwork, and our engineers have been taking a hard look at route designs. The deadline for submitting public comments for the Phase 1 Draft EIS was March 14, and in that process, PSE identified our preferred route and route options to undergo further analysis during Phase 2 of the EIS process.

Our preferred route - Willow 2

Our preferred route, called Willow 2, primarily uses the existing corridor and a new segment in the Factoria area. We’re also studying other options in the Factoria area, specifically Willow and Oak – advisory group recommendations – and a new option, called Oak 2. All four of these routes solve the Eastside’s electrical problem and address community concerns. 

It’s nearly impossible to have no impact. But we appreciate those who may be affected by our routing decisions and will continue to work with them and welcome their input.

PSE’s selection is based on four key factors:

  • We are using the existing corridor as much as possible, replacing four poles with one or two poles. We are using the existing corridor as much as possible. In most instances, where there are currently four poles in the corridor, we will be removing them and replacing them with one pole, or at most two poles. Additionally, most of the new poles will be built approximately in the same place as the existing poles.
  • Avoids new corridors and sensitive areas. We did our best to develop route options that avoid new corridors and environmental impacts whenever possible. We understand it’s nearly impossible to have no impact. We appreciate those who may be affected by our routing decisions and will continue to work with them and welcome their input.
  • No condemnation of homes. Our preferred route, based on what we know today, does not condemn anybody’s homes anywhere.
  • Safe and better than what we have now. Safety is our first priority. The project will be constructed safely according to strict federal standards. As described in the Phase 1 Draft EIS, new construction means new, longer-lasting equipment as well as fewer poles.

We will continue to listen and learn as the project and EIS process progresses.

Learn more about the proposed route options.

If you have any questions about PSE's preferred route and route options, contact us.

What’s next?

These routes will be analyzed as part of the EIS process being led by City of Bellevue. Learn about upcoming opportunities this spring to provide comment and read more about the City of Bellevue-led EIS process at EnergizeEastsideEIS.org.

The EIS process is moving into Phase 2, which will include a more specific and detailed review of alternatives based on the outcomes of Phase 1, and will focus on project design and construction. 

Similar to the Phase 1 process, you will be able to provide comments during scoping and on the subsequent Phase 2 Draft EIS. The scoping period is expected to begin this spring. Please visit the City of Bellevue’s EIS website for updates on the environmental review process. 

Comments or questions submitted to Puget Sound Energy will not be considered part of the EIS.