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Puget Sound Energy transmission line project

Woodland - St. Clair transmission line and substation projects


Spring 2015 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.

View full-size project map

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 in Puyallup: PSE will rebuild the substation to provide 115 kV switching and transformation capabilities.
  • Gravelly Lake substation in 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 in Tacoma: PSE will decommission the substation.

What is a transmission line?

Transmission lines are key elements in the electrical distribution system. The 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.