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Puget Sound Energy transmission line and substation projects

Woodland - St. Clair transmission line and substation projects

Winter 2014 project updates
  • Construction for the Gravelly Lake substation to South Tacoma Way transmission line upgrade began in July 2012 and was completed in December 2012.
  • Construction of the transmission line between the Fern Hill substation in Tacoma to the Woodland substation in Puyallup is expected to begin in 2018.
Project overview

To increase reliability for customers and meet their growing demand for power in Pierce County, Puget Sound Energy is upgrading the existing low-voltage 55 kilovolt (kV) transmission lines to the now current standard of 115 kV. These projects will entail upgrading two substations and 12.5 miles of transmission line, and decommissioning our existing Fern Hill substation. We will construct the projects in phases.

The multi-year construction effort includes the following projects and expected timelines:

2009 projects
Tree trimming and removal: To prepare for replacement of the existing transmission line with the current standard 115 kV line, PSE trimmed and removed trees along approximately five miles of existing transmission line between our Woodland substation in Puyallup and our Fern Hill substation in Tacoma.

2010-12 projects
Upgrade transmission line: PSE rebuilt and relocated 4.5 miles of 55 kV transmission line to our now current 115 kV standard from South Tacoma Way to the Gravelly Lake substation in Lakewood (see project map).

2015-18 projects
Upgrade transmission line: PSE will upgrade 6 miles of existing 55 kV transmission line to the now current 115 kV standard from our Fern Hill substation in Tacoma to the Woodland substation in Puyallup (see project map).

Woodland substation (8535 104th St. East, Puyallup): PSE will rebuild the substation to provide 115 kV switching and transformation capabilities.

Gravelly Lake substation (8304 Washington SW, Lakewood): PSE will install a new 115 kV circuit breaker at the substation. We will complete this work within the existing substation footprint.

Fern Hill substation (8300 block of South Yakima Avenue, Tacoma): PSE will decommission the substation.


Download full-size map
Project map
(2 MB PDF)

What is a transmission line?

Transmission lines are key elements in the electrical distribution system. The lines safely transport high voltage electricity from power 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.

Download the information

Download these PDF files for more detail on PSE's Woodland to St. Clair transmission line and substation project.

Tree work and construction notice, April 2012
Project map, Rev. April 2012

Jan. 11, 2011 public meeting
Meeting invite
2010-11 projects fact sheet, Rev. 1/11/11
2010-11 projects aerial map
Roadway utility landscaping zone
Examples of typical transmission structures
Overhead vs. underground transmission lines fact sheet (revised Aug. 2012)

Woodland-St. Clair information
Project map, December 2010
Woodland-St. Clair fact sheet, Rev. 1/11/11
Survey notice, May 2009