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Puget Sound Energy electric distribution project

Bainbridge Island distribution reliability projects

Winter 2015 project updates

  • For information about other projects on Bainbridge Island, visit
  • The NE Baker Hill Road project began in 2014 and is expected to be completed in January 2015.
  • Beginning Dec. 15, crews from Potelco, Inc. began installation of tree wire along Crystal Springs Rd NE. Work requires a temporary road closure during work hours (7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m, Mon-Fri).

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Project overview

The overhead electric distribution system serving neighborhoods on Bainbridge Island is prone to numerous tree-related power outages. As part of PSE’s commitment to providing Bainbridge Island customers with safe, dependable service, we are conducting a series of distribution reliability projects across the Island.

In some areas PSE will convert the existing overhead distribution line to an underground distribution line, decreasing the likelihood of tree-related power outages for our customers. Other projects in the area may include replacing portions of the distribution power lines that currently serve the area with tree wire. By installing tree wire in other locations, we have helped reduce power outages related to falling tree branches by 70 percent. Once the work is completed it will improve the reliability of the energy we supply to the Island and all of Kitsap County.

Below is an overview of completed and future distribution reliability projects:

Tree wire distribution line projects
  • New Sweden Ave- Completed 2013
  • Eagle Harbor Drive east of McDonald Ave NE - Completed 2013
  • Fletcher Bay Rd - Completed 2014
  • Baker Hill Rd - In progress 
Underground projects
  • Eagle Harbor Dr NE and Bucklin Hill Rd NE - Completed 2013
  • Eagle Harbor Dr north of McDonald Ave NE - Completed 2013
  • Eagle Harbor Dr and Wyatt Way NW - 2015/2016

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.

What is tree wire?

Tree wire is a specially coated overhead wire, which prevents an electric short in the line (and subsequent outage) in the event a tree limb falls into a line. Tree wire is very useful at preventing outages in areas with many trees. Although it does not prevent outages caused by an entire tree falling into a power line, tree wire can significantly lower the frequency tree-related of power outages in your community.