Puget Sound Energy completes $12.5 million electric system upgrade in Skagit and Whatcom counties

New high-capacity wire and poles increase system reliability and capacity

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Nov. 6, 2009) – Puget Sound Energy late Thursday completed a $12.5 million electric system upgrade to improve reliability for customers in the Bellingham and Sedro-Woolley communities when PSE energized 23.5 miles of rebuilt 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line. During the past year, PSE modernized aging transmission wire with new, high-capacity 115 kV transmission wire and replaced more than 425 poles along PSE’s existing transmission corridor that runs between the two communities.

“The replacement of the transmission wire and aging poles will not only increase the reliability of the electric system serving our customers in Skagit and Whatcom counties, it adds capacity to meet the growing demand for power in our area,” said Ray Trzynka, PSE manager of local government and community relations.

The upgraded transmission line with its new, high-capacity wire provides four times more capacity than the former transmission line, which was constructed with copper wire in 1952.

Electric system upgrades will continue with PSE’s installation of a new fiber-optic line in PSE’s transmission corridor. The utility expects the fiber-optic line to be installed by December. A fiber-optic line increases the reliability of the electric system by improving electric transmission system protections and controls that monitor power flow and voltage levels. In addition fiber-optic lines are a foundational component for smart grid technologies. For more information, please visit PSE’s Sedro-Woolley/Bellingham upgrade project Web page at www.PSE.com.


Gretchen Aliabadi, 1-888-831-7250

About Puget Sound Energy

Washington state’s oldest local energy utility, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers in 11 counties. A subsidiary of Puget Energy, PSE meets the energy needs of its growing customer base through incremental, cost-effective energy conservation, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service and delivering energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible.