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Puget Sound Energy electric distribution project

State Street substation

Fall 2014 project complete

  • Construction began in May 2014 and work was completed and the system energized in early December 2014.

Project overview

To increase capacity while improving electric reliability for customers in downtown Bellingham, PSE upgraded the existing 4 kilovolt (kV) distribution system serving the area. Specifically, we rebuilt the existing 4 kV State Street distribution substation to meet current 12.5 kV standards. These upgrades will provide improved electric reliability and ensure that PSE continues to meet local energy needs during periods of high demand, such as during cold winter weather.
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PSE rebuilt 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). This project was part of PSE's multi-year effort to upgrade the distribution infrastructure which delivers electricity to customers in the area. See details on PSE’s Bellingham Alley Conversion project.

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.