Eastside Neighborhoods Say “No”
to Puget Sound Energy’s Dangerous Mega-Project

And “Yes” to Safe, Green, Smart Energy Solutions

The Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE) represents over 3,000 residents and employers who oppose Puget Sound Energy’s project to construct an oversized, unsafe, 18-mile scar of massive, towering poles and high voltage electricity transmission lines impacting 29 neighborhoods in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Newcastle, and Renton.

Our coalition is advocating for a transparent decision-making process and better plan that adopts 21st century best practices in advanced energy management and conservation—already at work in other cities—to safely and reliably power our growth and keep our communities beautiful and livable.

Read the CENSE Overview to learn more…

Proposed Transmission Line Route through the Eastside
(click image for more detail)

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Why this project is bad for our families,
businesses and communities

PSE’s project is dangerous. Experts caution that industrial-scaled utility poles and high voltage cables built on top of two aging jet fuel pipelines will significantly increase the risk of pipeline failure and catastrophic fire. A 1999 explosion of one of these pipelines killed three children in Bellingham. The proposed route impacts 29 neighborhoods and crosses an earthquake fault near I-90.

8,000 mature trees would be cut and homes would be destroyed to build this massive construction project, an affront to the investments we’ve made to make our cities livable and draw businesses to our region.

PSE’s construction plan is massively oversized. Industry leaders have challenged PSE’s overestimate for annual increase in Eastside electricity demand (and false threats of “rolling blackouts”), noting that PSE’s growth forecast of 2.4% is six times greater than Seattle’s forecast of 0.4%. PSE’s plan is sized to accommodate export of energy to Canada, but is far beyond our need.

PSE’s plan does nothing to help us manage or reduce our energy consumption or costs. This excessive increase in capacity would reduce incentives for PSE and our cities and residents and businesses to implement more robust conservation and efficiency technologies already embraced by other tech-smart, forward-looking, and innovative cities across the country.

PSE’s claims of greater reliability are exaggerated.  We advocate a distributed plan that delivers better reliability in windstorms.

PSE is a for-profit corporation that was acquired by Australian and Canadian investors in 2009. Its number one goal is profits for its institutional investors, not safe, green, smart growth for our communities.

We can and should develop a better plan

based on safe, green, reliable, cost-effective, 21st century
solutions already at work in other growing cities.

We advocate for a solution that:

  • Is flexible and scalable to our needs.
  • Embraces proven best-practice technologies.
  • Is geographically distributed and makes us less vulnerable to disruptions.
  • Incentivizes conservation and efficiency.
  • Upgrades previous investments.

WHO IS CENSE?

CENSE is a coalition of Eastside residents concerned about the size, safety, and environmental impacts of PSE’s proposed project. We have engaged industry experts to create a better plan.

CENSE Plan

Over a year ago, CENSE outlined a plan to address growing electricity demand on the Eastside. Then we hired an industry expert, EQL Energy, to provide accurate estimates of cost and capacity.

Now you can read a more specific description of this plan that is superior to PSE’s Energize Eastside proposal in every way. It is safer, less expensive, more reliable, and more supportive of communities and the environment. And it’s based on technology and energy policies that have already been proven by utilities around the country.

CENSE Plan (4 page PDF)

In the news!

After two years, local newspapers and TV channels are beginning to cover Energize Eastside and CENSE:

Documents

If you want to dig into details, here are some of the most important documents that relate to Energize Eastside and CENSE criticism of the project.

Title Description
CENSE Overview Overview of the project and CENSE’s vision of a better solution (PDF, 4 pages)
Safety First Describes pipeline-powerline co-location safety issues. Poses many questions for PSE on the safety of its plan.  (PDF, 14 pages, 5/31/16)
Lauckhart-Schiffman Load Flow Study Is Energize Eastside necessary? Respected industry experts Rich Lauckhart and Roger Schiffman ran computer simulations to find out. Their conclusion: PSE is using an impossible situation to try to scare residents into funding a billion-dollar project.
Energize Eastside Economic Analysis How much will Energize Eastside really cost? Finance expert Jeffrey King ran models that predict a lifetime cost of $1.4 – $2.0 billion.
Energize Eastside Cost-Effectiveness This report produced by CENSE shows why PSE’s proposal is the least cost-effective of the possible alternatives.
The Best Alternative Industry consultant EQL Energy considers EIS Alternative 2. Short answer: Alternative 2 is the best solution for the Eastside’s energy future, but it is incompletely described and analyzed in the EIS, and PSE has stacked the deck in favor of transmission lines.
Energize Eastside and Pipeline Safety Dr. Frank Cheng, an internationally recognized pipeline safety expert, considers the safety risks of putting high voltage transmission lines so close to two petroleum pipelines. He describes what kind of studies are necessary to make sure we don’t burn our neighborhoods.
Northwest Power Plan The final version of the Seventh Power Plan from the Northwest Power and Conservation Council will be released in late February. This link goes to the draft version, which includes many statements about consumption trends and future growth that are at odds with PSE. Is the Eastside truly an anomaly, or is PSE putting its business interests ahead of its customers?
Presentation by Rich Lauckhart, former vice president of transmission planning for Puget Power Rich Lauckhart’s slides from his presentation in Bellevue on Feb. 19, 2016.

Watch the video of Rich Lauckhart’s presentation here:

Is “ENERGIZE EASTSIDE” Needed? (49 minutes)