Puget Sound Energy completes $6 million electric system upgrade to improve reliability and increase capacity in Bellingham area

BELLEVUE, Wash. (Dec. 10, 2009) – Puget Sound Energy late yesterday completed a $6 million upgrade of the Bellingham electric system from a 55 kilovolt (kV) system to the utility’s current standard 115 kV system to improve reliability and increase capacity in the area. The one-year project entailed converting the voltage of four substations and 10.5 miles of transmission line connecting the substations.

“Bellingham had outgrown the 55 kV electric system,” said Ray Trzynka, manager of local government and community relations for PSE. “The conversion to 115 kV transmission system adds the necessary capacity and reliability to meet our customer needs in the area.”

The new system doubles the transmission line capacity in northwest Bellingham and provides an alternative, or back-up, 115 kV power source to PSE’s Bellis substation.

PSE began working early in 2009 to improve the electrical transmission system in Bellingham starting with the rebuild of the utility’s Bellis substation. PSE then converted its Old Town and Roeder substations, followed by the Lehigh substation. The utility then converted the existing 55 kV transmission line to a 115 kV line.

This project is one of six major projects PSE has under construction or completed in Whatcom County this year to increase reliability and capacity. The utility is currently:

  • Converting the existing 4 kV electric distribution system to a 12 kV electric distribution system in parts of downtown Bellingham; and
  • Building two new electric distribution substations in Lynden and Blaine/Birch Bay.

PSE recently completed:

  • A new electric distribution substation in the Cordatta Parkway area of Bellingham; and
  • A 23.5 mile rebuild of 115 kV transmission line between Sedro-Woolley and Bellingham.

For more information about PSE construction projects, please visit 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.