The City of Redmond will hold a public land use hearing to consider PSE’s Energize Eastside transmission project on June 6 at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be entirely virtual, with opportunity for the public to make brief comments regarding the project. It is unclear whether CENSE will be allowed to present our facts during the hearing. The City has informed us that we will not be allowed to provide a slide presentation, so it is especially important for citizens of any city to make a public comment against the project at the hearing. Details are at the bottom of this page.
From PSE’s documents, it is clear that Energize Eastside will not improve electrical reliability for customers in Redmond. In Bellevue, PSE threatens to enforce rolling blackouts during a type of emergency that has never happened before and is unlikely to happen in the future. However, PSE’s studies show only a tiny percentage of Redmond homes would be affected by a rolling blackout. No Redmond business would be impacted.
Higher electric rates will affect all Redmond residents and businesses. PSE is asking the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to increase electric rates to pay for the project. Over time, these increases will cost every PSE customer thousands of dollars. Also, the City will suffer destruction of hundreds of significant trees and even a few “landmark trees” to build the project. None of the “replacement trees” will be allowed to grow more than 15 feet tall, creating an ugly scar that will persist for decades. In contrast, the new power poles will be 80 to 100 feet tall, visible from many blocks away.
Energize Eastside is also a safety risk. The EIS for the project says that the risk of a catastrophic pipeline accident, although unlikely, would increase during construction and operation of the higher-voltage power lines.PSE’s Canadian and Australian owners continue to push this unnecessary project to increase company revenues for many decades. The upgraded lines offer no benefits to Redmond or any other Eastside city.