8/8/2017

- PSE has selected the existing corridor as the final route for Energize Eastside

After nearly four years of study and extensive dialogue with Eastside communities, PSE has selected the existing corridor “Willow 1” route as the final route to permit for Energize Eastside.

Click here to learn more about the final route. 

PSE evaluated multiple route options and selected the existing corridor because it is the least impactful route to Eastside communities. Our decision was guided by two key factors:

  1. Our commitment to safety. The project will be built and operated to the highest safety and engineering standards. Using the existing corridor, along with optimized designs and operations, the project can safely co-exist with Olympic Pipeline.
  2. Our commitment to limit impacts to the environment. This route affects the fewest number of trees and avoids the construction of new corridors. We know our customers value trees. Our goal is for there to be more trees when the project is complete, not fewer.

PSE’s decision was shaped by community input through the Community Advisory Group process, open houses, neighborhood and stakeholder briefings, detailed engineering analysis, the Cities’ Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process, property owner meetings, and nearly 3,000 comments and questions.

 

We’re moving forward with permitting to keep the lights on

Reliable power is critical to Eastside communities’ health, safety and economic vitality. PSE will soon begin submitting permit applications for the southern portion of the project. 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 by summer 2018. We anticipate submitting permit applications for the northern portion in Redmond and Bellevue later this year.

PSE will build Energize Eastside in two construction phases to keep the backbone of the existing transmission system online and serving customers. Once the southern portion is in service, PSE will begin work on the northern portion.

 

PSE will replace the poles in the existing corridor

Our plan is to upgrade the existing four wooden poles to one or two steel poles, which allows us to have fewer poles within the existing corridor. PSE is committed to keeping pole heights as low as possible. New poles will typically be in the same or similar locations as the existing poles. Click here to learn more about pole types and view photo simulations of the final route. 

 

We’ll keep you up to date on the project

We appreciate the community’s input and ongoing interest in the project. During permitting and as we prepare for construction, we’ll continue to reach out to property owners and keep the community updated on our progress.

 

"As the Eastside community grows, it is PSE’s responsibility to keep the lights on. We’ve heard community members emphasize that the project must be safe and limit impacts to the environment. We agree. We’re committed to building and operating the project safely and limiting project impacts to the environment, which includes replacing trees. Our goal is that, when the project is complete, there will be more trees, not less.” - Booga Gilbertson, Senior Vice President of Operations

Next steps for Energize Eastside

  • PSE will soon submit permit applications in Bellevue, Newcastle and Renton. PSE anticipates submitting permit applications for the northern portion in Redmond and north Bellevue later this year. 
  • PSE will continue to reach out to property owners to discuss property-specific design and landscaping and tree replacement plans. 
  • The project is currently undergoing environmental review, which includes preparation of a Washington State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The Phase 2 Draft EIS was published in May 2017, and the Final EIS is expected to be published in early 2018. The EIS process is led by the City of Bellevue in cooperation with the cities of Kirkland, Newcastle, Redmond and Renton. More information can be found at EnergizeEastsideEIS.org.