Attend the hearing on Sept 28th, or submit your written comments before. PSE proposes a 20% rate increase for residential customers over a 3 year period (15% in the first year!). This rate increase request includes costs for Energize Eastside estimated at $300-400 million. Customers may be paying for Energize Eastside even though it has not been fully permitted. If the rate hike is approved, PSE will start draining money from the pockets of 1.2 million electric customers to cover Energize Eastside, years before it is built. Even Washington’s Attorney General opposes it! Details here.

Energize Eastside Current Status

  • CENSE is participating as an intervenor in the PSE rate case before the WUTC. PSE is asking for a 20% increase in residential electricity rates over the next 3 years. CENSE and the Washington Attorney General object to this increase. More info here.
  • Construction of poles in Somerset is underway and should be completed this fall. Mitigation landscaping for residents is planned for October.
  • When new poles are complete in the south Bellevue south section, they will be strung with lines that will connect to the existing Newcastle lines and the entire line will be energized to 115kV through the winter. The voltage will be increased to 230kV only when the entire south segment from south Bellevue to Renton is complete.
  • In Newcastle, the PSE contractor is contacting residents. Construction is expected to start in the spring of 2023.
  • The north segment has not been approved by Bellevue, and no permit hearing date has been announced. Redmond has approved PSE’s permits for their portion of the north segment.

The City of Redmond held a public hearing to consider PSE’s Energize Eastside transmission project on June 6 at 5:30 pm. The meeting was virtual, with opportunity for public comment. Details here.

The Energize Eastside public hearing concluded on February 1, 2022, wrapping up 5 days of testimony from the public, CENSE’s attorney and expert witnesses, Larry Johnson, the City of Newcastle, and PSE. The Newcastle Hearing Examiner is expected to issue a decision by April 29, 2022. See our Newcastle Hearing page for details.

We will keep you posted through our newsletter and this website.

Thank you for your participation!

image: current transmission line
Today: Existing power lines and poles in Newcastle.
image: proposed transmission line
The future? Taller poles and higher-voltage power lines proposed by PSE’s Energize Eastside project.

Transmission Lines vs. Local “Virtual Power Plants”

A debate is brewing over the future of energy delivery in the U.S.: Should we be investing in new transmission lines, or localized “Virtual Power Plants” using solar cells, batteries, and demand response techniques?

This New York Times article* explains how energy companies are pushing for more transmission lines. Transmission lines are familiar to them and known to be lucrative revenue generators. However, many energy experts say Virtual Power Plants would provide better reliability and resilience, for less cost and less environmental impact. A letter from CENSE (Seattle Times, July 18, 2021) frames the issue locally, in relation to Energize Eastside, population growth in the region, and recent heat-wave-induced power outages.

* If you don’t have access to the New York Times, you can read or listen to this interview with the author of the article.

North Segment Permit Process Initiated for Energize Eastside

PSE’s efforts to build the South Segment of the proposed transmission line have temporarily stalled in Newcastle. Undeterred, PSE has now submitted a permit application to build the North Segment of the project through central and north Bellevue and Redmond, impacting residential neighborhoods including Lake Hills, Wilburton, and Bridle Trails.

The first step in the North segment permitting process was a “Courtesy Hearing” in front of the East Bellevue Community Council (EBCC). The meeting was held June 1st 2021, via zoom. PSE and CENSE gave presentations and many residents spoke against the project. You can read about it here: EBCC Courtesy Hearing Report

The Plan     Reliable Electricity • Quality of Life • Safety

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