What is Energize Eastside?
Energize Eastside is PSE’s outdated proposal to build a 16-mile, 230,000-volt transmission line running through four Eastside cities and dozens of residential neighborhoods. The power lines would be on metal poles 20-30 feet taller than the current wooden poles, and would protrude well above the treetops.
Today: Existing power lines and poles in Newcastle.
The future? Taller poles and higher-voltage power lines of Energize Eastside.
PSE divided the project into two segments. 1) The south segment runs through Newcastle, Renton, and South Bellevue. 2) The north segment runs through North Bellevue and Redmond and has not been considered by either city yet.
Current Status of Project
Bellevue and Renton have approved the permits needed for their parts of the south segment, despite public opposition and legal challenges by CENSE. In an upcoming public hearing, PSE will ask the City of Newcastle to approve the final permits the company needs to build the transmission line through Newcastle neighborhoods. CENSE will argue that the permit should not be granted and that PSE needs to develop a plan that incorporates the goals of Washington state’s Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA).
The City of Newcastle hired a consultant to study the project. The consultant’s report raises significant questions about the need for the project. In the coming weeks, Newcastle city staff will recommend approval or rejection of PSE’s permits. Then a public hearing will be scheduled in which members of the public and CENSE can comment. Although the Hearing Examiner makes the final decision, his decision can be appealed to King County Superior Court. Newcastle City Council chose to not be involved in this process.
If you are concerned about the safety and the appearance of your neighborhood, look for our upcoming newsletters
Future newsletters will describe the safety risks of building this project close to the Olympic pipelines, the impact on quality of life for Newcastle residents, and whether this project really delivers better electrical reliability. We will also publish the date of the Newcastle hearing when it is scheduled.