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Puget Sound Energy substation project

Horse Ranch switching station

Fall 2011 project completion
  • Construction started in March and was completed in October 2011
Project overview

Puget Sound Energy has rebuilt our Lake Stevens Horse Ranch switching station, a major component of the region's electrical transmission grid. The upgraded switching station improves reliability to customers served by PSE, the Bonneville Power Administration, Snohomish County PUD and Seattle City Light. This project is an essential part of our larger Sedro-Woolley to Horse Ranch 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line upgrade. The switching station includes three 230 kV breakers and the space to add a fourth breaker. A breaker is an electric system protective device that interrupts the flow of electricity when there is a fault on the line. This project reinforces our regional electric grid by allowing PSE to maintain an additional north to south electrical path in the event any one segment of the system is out of service.

Download full-sized map

Project map (1 MB PDF)

What is a switching station?

A switching station is a transmission substation where the utility can switch or reroute power flow from one line or path to another to allow the power to be isolated to clear a fault (e.g., a fallen tree in the wires) or to take the power line out-of-service for maintenance. It also may act as a point of interconnection between two different transmission operators (e.g., Bonneville Power Administration and PSE). Unlike a substation with a transformer serving neighborhood circuitry, switching stations do not step power up or down; they integrate power from one or more transmission sources on the regional and local grid to serve neighborhood substations.

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.

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 information

Download these PDF files for more detail on our Horse Ranch substation project.
Construction notice, March 2011
Project map