Growth is straining our region’s existing transmission system
The Eastside is growing faster than any other region in Washington – the Puget Sound Regional Council recently estimated the Bellevue central business district alone will grow more than 275% by 2040. But economic development comes at a cost.
This good fortune is straining our region's existing electric system. Growth studies project that demand for reliable power will exceed capacity as early as 2017. This doesn't mean the lights will go out, but without substantial electrical infrastructure upgrades and aggressive conservation efforts, the Eastside's power system will lose redundancy, increasing the possibility of outages for as many as 60,000 customers.
Conservation alone is not enough to meet the challenge
Over the past few decades, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has taken significant steps to get the most out of the electric system. In fact, through upgraded lighting, appliances and equipment, increased weatherization, and energy-efficient building technologies, PSE customers helped us save enough electricity to power 30,000 homes in 2012.
However, conservation alone is not enough. Our Eastside economy and population are growing far faster than our conservation efforts can keep up and without substantial electric infrastructure upgrades, tens of thousands of residents and businesses will be at risk of more frequent and longer outages.
We need to act now
PSE is committed to providing reliable and safe power and helping to sustain the economic growth on the Eastside. PSE has a responsibility to provide a transmission system that keeps the lights on and businesses running in our communities.
Our environment presents future challenges as well. Climatologists suggest that in the coming decades, the region may experience severe storms more frequently. Our ability to recover quickly from major storm events, extreme heat or cold, and natural disasters depends on a robust electric infrastructure system. Check out PSE's Needs Assessment Report Executive Summary to learn more about the need to act now.