An Update on Energize Eastside
Posted on 02/01/2022
PSE Energize Eastside

 The Energize Eastside public hearing concluded on February 1, 2022. Here’s some background information and what to expect next.

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) proposes to construct a new Richards Creek Substation in Bellevue and upgrade 18 miles of two existing 115-kilovolt transmission lines with 230-kilovolt lines. Collectively, this proposal, which spans from Renton to Redmond, is referred to as Energize Eastside. The Newcastle segment is approximately 1.5 miles, located within an existing utility corridor, and PSE proposes to replace 52 wooden poles with 24 steel poles. Newcastle Municipal Code requires approval of a conditional use permit and binding site plan application prior to project authorization. 


The City of Newcastle  Hearing Examiner held five days of public hearings via videoconference in January and February of 2022, including testimony in support from PSE, and in opposition from the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE) and Larry Johnson. The City also provided testimony in supplement to its staff report to the Hearing Examiner. Public comments were accepted at the meetings and in writing. You can watch video of the hearing here. 


Questions discussed at the hearing included: Is there a need for increased electrical system capacity for the eastside? Is this project safe in relation to the pipeline it shares in a utility corridor? Are the proposed transmission lines visually compatible with surrounding neighborhoods? 


Final briefs from the parties involved are due by March 29, 2022. The Newcastle Hearing Examiner is expected to issue a decision on the applicatioby April 29, 2022, which will be posted on the  Energize Eastside Updates page. 


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