To the Editor — June 2015

June 4, 2015

By Contributor

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We need more than ‘reasonable’ with PSE’s Energize Eastside

The independent technical consultant hired by the city of Bellevue to assess the need for PSE’s “Energize Eastside” project, U.S.E., was expected to do its own independent future peak load forecast. Instead, it reviewed PSE’s forecast and found it “reasonable.”

If you want a second opinion from a doctor, would you be satisfied if he/she just looked at the medical records from the first doctor and thought her diagnosis was “reasonable”?

What U.S.E. finds “reasonable” is PSE’s new forecast of electricity demand growing at 2.4 percent per year from 2014-2024. By comparison, Seattle City Light is forecasting demand growth of 1.2 percent for Seattle. Why can’t we get independent verification that the Eastside is now growing twice as fast as booming Seattle? That seems totally implausible.

The big mantra for PSE is “reliability.” It’s as if we should double the width of our freeways because once a year there might be a huge traffic jam if both Safeco and CenturyLink stadiums emptied at the same time. Does that sound like sane highway planning?

Are we so lacking resource and imagination that an overkill of poles and wires is the only solution? There are more flexible and less costly alternatives.

Larry Johnson


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