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Puget Sound Energy transmission line project

Moorlands - Vitulli 115 kV transmission line upgrade

Fall 2014 project updates

  • We're finalizing engineering and project design; surveying along the project route will continue throughout 2014.
  • We expect to submit applications for permits as early as November 2014 and construction could begin as early as spring 2015 with completion by fall 2015.

Project overview

One of the existing electric transmission lines bringing power to customers in Kenmore and Bothell is approaching its capacity limits and is at risk of overloading during periods of high energy usage – putting our customers at risk for power outages. The Moorlands-Vitulli transmission line, which was originally constructed in the 1940s, needs a higher capacity conductor to meet the needs of a 21st century community. Additionally, many of the poles and associated equipment are aging and need to be replaced.

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PSE plans to rebuild the existing five-mile Moorlands-Vitulli line between the Moorlands substation in Kenmore and the Vitulli substation in Bothell with a higher capacity conductor and new wooden poles. This project will ensure that PSE can continue to provide reliable electric service to this area for many years to come.
 
The wooden poles that support the existing transmission line also hold a distribution line; this configuration will remain after the project is complete. Because a segment of the existing distribution line is prone to tree-related power outages, we will also be installing approximately a half mile of tree wire along NE 195th St from the North Bothell substation to just east of 92nd Ave NE. Tree wire is a specially-coated overhead wire which prevents an electric short in the line (and subsequent outage) if a tree limb falls onto the line. Tree wire is very useful at preventing “branch-related” outages in heavily forested areas. However, it does not prevent outages caused by an entire tree falling into the line, which is heavy enough to cause poles and wires to break.
 

What is a transmission line?

Transmission lines are key elements in the electrical distribution system. These lines safely transport high voltage electricity from power generation sources like dams and wind generating facilities to substations in local communities. Transmission normally takes place at voltages of 55 kV and higher.

What is a substation?

Substations are critical links in the electricity distribution system, containing utility circuit protection, voltage regulation, and equipment that steps down higher voltage to lower voltage. Before reaching homes and businesses, power is routed through our transmission system to a substation where it is changed to a lower voltage that can be utilized by customers.

Committed to keeping you informed

PSE will continue to provide updates to the community. We will notify residents and businesses near the project area when construction will occur. We aim to complete the work with as little disruption as possible.