T&D World Magazine

Puget Sound Energy Outlines Electric System Infrastructure Investments

Puget Sound Energy is investing approximately $421 million in service-area infrastructure improvements in 2008, of which about $247 million is earmarked for capacity and reliability upgrades, and about $174 million is allocated to meet growing customer needs.

“It takes a lot of planning and coordination to do this amount of work in a year,” said Bert Valdman, executive vice president and chief operating officer for PSE. “We are proud of the work being done by PSE employees and contractors as we make the necessary investments in our electric and natural gas systems to ensure our customers throughout our service area have safe, reliable service now and in the future. We also thank the communities and our customers for their patience and support as we do this work on their behalf.”

PSE’s 2008 electric system investments include:

  • Building four miles of new 230-kV transmission line and five miles of new 115-kV transmission line.
  • Re-conductoring (replacing old power lines with new power lines) 54 mi of PSE’s transmission system.
  • Replacing or remediating (injecting with silicone to extend the life of cable) approximately 70 mi of underground cable.
  • Replacing 800 poles.
  • Constructing six new distribution substations – two in Whatcom County and one each in Island, King, Jefferson, and Thurston counties.
  • Upgrading seven distribution substations and six transmission systems in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, and Thurston counties.

PSE 2008 major projects in the counties served by the utility include:

Island County
Island County reliability project – Implementing a multi-year vegetation management project to improve PSE’s system reliability on Whidbey Island and reduce tree-related outages at an estimated cost of $1 million. Anticipated phase-one completion: winter 2008.
Useless Bay substation – Building a new substation to improve reliability to the south end of Whidbey Island at an estimated cost of $10 million to $12 million. Anticipated completion: fall 2010.

Jefferson County
Chimacum substation – Completed the construction of a new $5-million substation in May 2008 to improve service reliability for customers in the Port Hadlock area of Jefferson County.

King County
Covington-Berrydale 230 kV – Building a new transmission line at an estimated cost of $12.6 million to improve reliability and meet growth needs in the Covington area. Anticipated completion: fall 2008.
Factoria substation – Rebuilding the Factoria substation at an estimated $6.5 million cost to reduce outages and enhance capacity in Bellevue. Anticipated completion: spring 2009.
Four Corners substation – Building a new electric distribution substation at an estimated cost of $5.5 million to meet increased demand for electricity in the Maple Valley area. Anticipated schedule: begin construction spring 2009.
Juanita substation – Doubling the size of the existing substation at an estimated cost of $4.2 million to increase reliability and meet growing demand for power in the Juanita, Totem Lake and Kingsgate areas of Kirkland. Anticipated schedule: begin construction in spring 2009.
Lake Hills-Phantom Lake transmission line – Building a new transmission line to connect the utility’s existing Phantom Lake and Lake Hills substations at an estimated cost of $3.5 million to increase electric system reliability and capacity. Anticipated schedule: begin construction fall 2009.
Novelty substation and electric transmission line – Building a new transmission line between Northeast Novelty Hill Road and Avondale Road Northeast on PSE’s existing transmission line corridor at an estimated cost of $8.4 million to increase reliability and meet additional demand resulting from ongoing growth in Redmond and east King County. Anticipated completion: spring 2009.
Talbot Beverly – Replacing aging power poles and installing a new fiber-optic line along 35 miles of transmission line corridor between the Talbot substation in Renton and Snohomish County Public Utility District’s Beverly Park substation in Everett at an estimated cost of $3 million to improve system reliability. Anticipated schedule: construction fall 2008.

Kitsap County
Bremerton substation – Demolishing the existing substation and rebuilding and upgrading the facility at an estimated cost of $9 million to increase capacity and reliability as well as help reduce future power outages. Anticipated completion: summer 2009.

Skagit County
Fredonia 115-kV line loop – Installing a new 0.4 mile transmission line at an estimated cost of $1.5 million to $2 million between the Olympic Bay View and Fredonia substations to increase reliability in Skagit County. Anticipated completion: fall 2008.
Sedro-Woolley to Beaver Lake new 115-kV and fiber optic line, 230-kV upgrade – Upgrading capacity, including adding a new fiber-optic line, to 4.8 miles of an existing 115-kV transmission line at an estimated cost of $40 million. Anticipated completion: fall 2008.
Sedro-Woolley to Horse Ranch rebuild of existing 115-kV line to 230-kV line – Rebuilding 40 mi at an estimated cost of $30 million to $50 million to increase system reliability, help prevent power outages, and support anticipated growth in the area. Anticipated schedule: design 2008-09, construction 2009-10.

Snohomish County
Ebey Slough improvement – Replacing aging transmission line structures in Ebey Slough with new poles at an estimated cost of $15 million to protect system safety and reliability. Anticipated completion: fall 2008.

Thurston County
Olympia substation and transmission line conversion – Upgrading the utility’s existing low-voltage 55-kV substations and transmission lines to 115 kV standards in Olympia at an estimated cost of $7.8 million. The 2008-2009 project includes the following work:
Saint Clair substation: updating equipment and transmission line terminations. Schedule: completed April 2008.
Hawkes Prairie substation: replaced transformer and updated equipment. Schedule: completed May 2008.
Luhr Beach substation: removed station equipment and transmission line. Schedule: completed May 2008.
Valenica substation: removed station equipment and transmission line. Schedule: completed July 2008.
Pleasant Glade substation: installed circuit breakers, updated equipment, modified transmission line terminations. Schedule: completed July 2008.
Plum Street substation: demolishing and rebuilding existing substation. Anticipated completion: October 2008.
Friendly Grove substation: Constructing a new 115-kV substation adjacent to the existing 55-kV substation, then demolishing the existing substation and modifying existing transmission and distribution lines to accommodate the new station. Anticipated completion: spring 2009. Anticipated conversion completion: winter 2009.

Whatcom County
Laurel substation – Building a new substation at an estimated cost of $3.5 million to meet increased demand for electricity in the Cordatta Parkway area in Bellingham. Anticipated completion: fall 2008.
Sehome substation – Completed rebuilding the existing substation and upgraded from a 4- kV system to a 12-kV system in March at a cost of $4 million to support long-term capacity and reliability and help reduce future power outages.
Semiahmoo substation – Building a new electric distribution substation between Birch Bay and City of Blaine at an estimated cost of $3.9 million to meet increased demand for electricity. Anticipated schedule: begin construction spring 2009, completion fall 2009.

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