Get involved in PSE ‘Energize Eastside’ decision

June 5, 2014

Guest column

After having lived in Newcastle for the past 10 years next to the Puget Sound Energy power lines and the Olympic gas pipelines, my wife and I first gave little thought to PSE’s proposed “Energize Eastside” project that contemplates Olympus as part of one of two pre-selected routes an upgrade in PSE’s equipment might take. After all, these “H” poles date back to the 1960s and need to be replaced or removed at some point, we figured.

But then we learned things. The proposed new poles would be twice the height of the current ones, as high as 12-story buildings, and the increase in voltage from 115,000 volts to 230,000 volts would quadruple the power flowing through the lines and add to dangerous EMFs (electromagnetic fields). In addition, the new poles would require much bigger cement foundations that would require heavy equipment and massive vibrations to settle them into the soil, all within narrow 100-foot easements and over and near gas pipelines that are 50-plus years old. Read more

Letters — June 6

June 5, 2014

PSE power lines will lower property values

Puget Sound Energy plans to more than double the power lines in height and in voltage will not only increase the potential ills effects on our health in Olympus, but will destroy the natural beauty of our area.

Our skyline will be blocked by these ugly structures, and the property values will impact not only the homes by the power lines, but for the entire area. Keep in mind that property values are not isolated, but reflect the demand for housing and the prices that future homeowners will be willing to pay. Read more

Neighbors voice concerns about Energize Eastside

May 1, 2014

UPDATED — 9:45 p.m. May 1, 2014

*This story has been updated to reflect the following change: The initial version, and the one seen in the May 2 print edition, stated that Larry Johnson and the Olympus Homeowners Association would get a chance to give their own presentation about Energize Eastside at the May 6 Newcastle City Council. That has now been rescheduled for a later date to be determined*

Upgrades to infrastructure needed

When Newcastle neighbors Larry Johnson and Dave Edmonds peer into the backyards of their Olympus homes, transmission lines and power poles greet them.

It’s not the best view, but residents have learned to live with the 60-foot beams that carry 115 kilovolt power lines. The infrastructure has been there since long before the city was incorporated 20 years ago.

Those poles could get a lot taller, with lines that carry even more power, if Puget Sound Energy upgrades that corridor as part of its Energize Eastside project.

Courtesy Puget Sound Energy At left, a growing Eastside, especially the area west of Lake Sammamish, is putting a strain on the region’s electric system, as seen in this future growth map. Above, PSE’s solution to the region’s growing power demand is to build about 18 miles of 230 kilovolt transmission lines from Redmond to Renton.

Courtesy Puget Sound Energy
At left, a growing Eastside, especially the area west of Lake Sammamish, is putting a strain on the region’s electric system, as seen in this future growth map. Above, PSE’s solution to the region’s growing power demand is to build about 18 miles of 230 kilovolt transmission lines from Redmond to Renton.

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