We received a very thoughtful white paper from long-time Woodridge resident Russell Borgmann that explores the following questions and provides some interesting answers:
- Is the Energize Eastside project necessary?
- Is it legal?
- Is it safe?
- How much will it cost?
- Why no alternate routes?
On the first question whether the project is needed, Russ notes:
“PSE says Energize Eastside is required to meet the growing energy needs of the Puget Sound Eastside over the next 30 years. However, in a private study commissioned by Bellevue (Exponent Report on City of Bellevue Electrical Reliability Study Phase 2 Report) says: “PSE has not experienced any load growth since 2008. The planned growth has therefore been shifted forward by a couple of years. The present planning criteria is for 0.5% annual growth for the immediate future and a growth rate of about 1% per year for the next 10 years…the likely result is a surplus of available electric energy”. PSE says growth is straining existing infrastructure. The City of Bellevue’s independent report contradicts PSE’s claims.”
NOTE: To build its proposed project along either of PSE’s two ill-considered, pre-selected routes, PSE does not have all the easements it will need on either route, and it will fail in trying to exercise eminent domain to get them if it cannot meet the legal criteria that (1) the use is really public; (2) the public interest requires it; and (3) the property appropriated is necessary for that purpose.
And as to placing the power lines underground, Russ again cites the independent study undertaken for the City of Bellevue:
“Overhead (OH) and Underground (UG) systems were compared in the independent study of Bellevue’s electrical supply. Number of outages are consistently LOWER with Bellevue’s Underground systems (see Figure 3, page 17). Furthermore, equipment failures produce the greatest number of outage events, followed by tree-related and wildlife-related events (pg 18). Since 2008, there has been a continuous decrease in equipment failures associated with Underground Installations.
“PSE has not presented data, however the independent Exponent report demonstrates that underground installations have increased reliability and lower ongoing maintenance costs, which in the long-term should more than offset higher installation costs. “
You will never learn any of this, of course, from Andy Wappler’s many PSE Dog & Pony Shows. There is other worthwhile information here you may not be aware of. Please read the whole thing!