PSE Working To Increase Electric Reliability by Rebuilding Aging Transmission Lines in Skagit County

BELLEVUE, Wash. (April 5, 2011) – Puget Sound Energy is rebuilding two existing parallel 115 kilovolt transmission lines that deliver power to customers generated from PSE’s Baker River Hydroelectric Project in Skagit and Whatcom counties. Rebuilding the aging transmission lines, which are 52 and 84 years old, respectively, will increase the capacity and reliability of the electric system to better meet customer needs in the region.

The existing power lines, which run from the Baker River switching station, located at 3163 Baker River Road in Concrete, to the Sedro-Woolley substation, located at 24972 Minkler Lake Road in Sedro-Woolley, are being replaced with higher-capacity wire and new poles. “These transmission lines have been delivering power from our Baker hydro facility for more than 50 years,” said Ray Trzynka, PSE manager of local government and community relations. “By replacing the aging wire and structures, we have the opportunity to increase our electrical capacity and reliability without adding additional wires.”

PSE is first rebuilding the approximately 23-mile-long transmission line on the north side of the utility corridor. This work includes constructing new utility poles in approximately the same locations as the existing aging poles, stringing new high-capacity wire, fixing access gates and performing site restoration. The work, which began last week, is scheduled Mondays through Fridays from approximately 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some select activities, however, may take place after 7 p.m. on weekdays, or after 6 p.m. on Saturdays. Construction is expected to be completed in mid-July 2011.

The work to rebuild the transmission line on the south side of PSE’s utility corridor is scheduled to begin as early as 2012.

For more information and construction updates about the project, visit PSE’s Baker River to Sedro-Woolley 115 kV transmission line project Web page in the Community section on PSE.com.

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its customer base through incremental, cost-effective energy efficiency, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible For more information, visit www.PSE.com.

Media Contact

Gretchen Aliabadi, 1-888-831-7250
PSENewsroom@pse.com