In Your Community » Whatcom » Construction Projects »substation icon

Puget Sound Energy electric distribution project

State Street substation

Summer 2014 project updates
  • Construction began in May 2014 and work is anticipated to be completed and energized by November 2014.
  • For details about construction activities and schedule, click here.
Project overview

To increase capacity while improving electric reliability for customers in downtown Bellingham, PSE is upgrading the existing 4 kilovolt (kV) distribution system serving the area. Specifically, we’re rebuilding the existing 4 kV State Street distribution substation (located at 351 York Street) to meet current 12.5 kV standards. These upgrades will provide improved electric reliability as well as ensure that PSE continues to meet current and future local energy needs during periods of high demand, such as during cold winter weather, by increasing capacity.

PSE is rebuilding the distribution system to meet new federal electrical standards and to increase the capacity, safety and reliability of the electrical system in downtown Bellingham. The new electrical standards are required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Additionally, PSE has undertaken a multi-year effort to upgrade the distribution infrastructure which delivers electricity to customers in the area. These upgrades are part of PSE’s Bellingham Alley Conversion project (for more information about this project, click here.)
Download full-size map

Project map (171 KB PDF)

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.

What is a distribution line?

Distribution lines are critical links in the electrical system moving power from electrical substations through distribution transformers directly to homes or businesses. Unlike transmission lines, distribution lines typically carry less than 55 kV; PSE's distribution lines are typically 12.5 kV. Distribution lines can be installed both above and below ground.

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 State Street substation project.
Construction details postcard, April 2014
Project announcement, March 2014