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Puget Sound Energy substation and transmission line projects

Crystal-Greenwater area electric system improvement projects


Spring 2015 project updates

  • PSE's future distribution relocation and underground project is currently in the design and engineering phase and construction could begin as early as 2017.

Project overview

To increase reliability for customers in the Greenwater and Crystal Mountain area, Puget Sound Energy has engineered a series of multi-year construction projects aimed at providing better equipment access for maintenance and repair crews, relocating infrastructure away from washout areas, improving system performance during harsh winter weather and gaining more protection from tree-related outages. In addition, PSE has plans to increase system capacity to meet the energy demands of current and future customers.

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Project map

The multi-year construction effort includes the following projects and estimated timelines:
On-going projects
Vegetation management
Tree trimming and removal efforts help minimize tree-related outages. (Ongoing)
2010 project
Transmission upgrade
Relocated the power poles away from both banks of the White River to avoid potential washout of the existing transmission power line. (Completed 2010)
2011 projects
Upgraded substation
Rebuilt the existing Greenwater substation by adding updated infrastructure and electrical components to increase capacity. (Completed 2011)
2012 projects
Transmission line improvement
Relocated an existing switch on our Greenwater Tap transmission line east of Enumclaw. Relocating the switch increases system reliability by allowing servicemen to easily access the equipment for maintenance and repairs as well as allowing us to identify the cause of an outage on the line more quickly and reduce outage restoration times. (Completed 2012)
2013 projects
Distribution and transmission line upgrade – Phase 1
Rebuilt approximately .7 miles of existing overhead transmission and distribution lines along Mountainside Drive between Greenwater substation and Alpine Drive East. Replaced existing wood poles with taller wood poles and reconfigured the transmission and distribution lines to increase the separation between them, which decreases the likelihood of voltage issues due to the transmission line falling into the distribution line. Note: The original scope of this project was to underground the distribution lines along Mountainside Drive but the scope was updated due to difficulties obtaining needed easements and construction issues that nearly doubled the estimated project cost. (Completed 2013)

Distribution and transmission line upgrade – Phase 2
Rebuilt one span of existing overhead transmission and distribution lines near the Crystal River Ranch Fire Station in order to increase the separation between the transmission and distribution line. Also replaced a span over a washout area along Hancock Timber Road parallel to the White River. (Completed 2013)
Future projects
Distribution upgrade
Relocate the 34 kV distribution line, located just south of Greenwater where it crosses the White River, to remove it from the flood plain. This will entail a new overhead distribution line crossing of the river. Additionally, we will underground approximately 1.5 miles of distribution line along Highway 410 from the Greenwater substation to a point along Highway 410 south of National Forest Service Road 7295 (see project map). This project is currently in the design and engineering phase and construction is expected to begin as soon as 2017.

All project timelines are estimates and may change due to weather events, funding or permitting issues. In the long term there is a potential for additional reliability upgrade projects.

What is a transmission line?

Transmission lines are key elements in the electrical distribution system. These 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.

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.