Energize Eastside Update: Advancing Forward
Bellevue City Council adopted an ordinance last December memorializing the denied appeals to the Hearing Examiner’s decision approving Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) Conditional Use Permit Application for Energize Eastside’s Bellevue South Segment project. That’s a lot to unpack. Let’s break it down.
Supported by public feedback and a collection of official studies, an appointed Hearing Examiner issued a decision last June approving PSE’s application to rebuild the 50+-year-old electrical system that would upgrade capacity from 115 kV to 230 kV. The following July, an opposition group summited five appeals. Council denied those appeals in November and solidified this position via an ordinance in December. PSE can now begin constructing the Bellevue South Segment project.
PSE is slated to start construction on the new Richards Creek transmission substation in 2020 and implement new kV lines in 2021. Bellevue North Segment permitting is expected to be processed over the next year; however, the application will need approval from the East Bellevue Community Council in addition to the Bellevue City Council.
The BDA supports the Energize Eastside project as the solution for ensuring reliable energy for the Eastside. Advancing this project could not come at a better time, as multiple studies have reported that the Eastside is currently threatened with potential rolling blackouts. Every year the risk increases by 2.4%.
TIMELINE OF RECENT AND UPCOMING MILESTONES
- Dec 2019 – Bellevue Council adopts ordinance, advancing Bellevue South Segment project
- Jan 2020 – Renton Hearing Examiner public hearing
- Feb 2020 – Renton Hearing Examiner decision
- Spring 2020 – Newcastle Hearing Examiner public hearing
- Q2/Q3 2020 – Newcastle Hearing Examiner decision
- Spring 2020 – Permits submitted for Bellevue North and Redmond Segments
- 2020/21 – Bellevue South Segment construction
- 2020 – Transmission station improvements
- 2021 – kV line upgrades