PSE adding redundancy between substations | Additional transmission line to connect Lake Hills, Phantom Lake

Puget Sound Energy expects to begin building a new transmission line between the Lake Hills and Phantom Lake substations by late summer, adding redundancy to the system that already exists in other parts of Bellevue.

This map shows the route Puget Sound Energy has selected for running another transmission line from the Phantom Lake to Lake Hills substations.

Puget Sound Energy expects to begin building a new transmission line between the Lake Hills and Phantom Lake substations by late summer, adding redundancy to the system that already exists in other parts of Bellevue.

“That last storm we had that knocked out power to quite a bit of Bellevue; The people in that neighborhood would not have lost power for that short duration if we’d had that line in,” said project manager Bob Parker.

PSE began planning the addition of a second transmission line connecting the two substations in 2006, wanting to ensure residents wouldn’t lose power when a line to either substation went down, Parker said.

Working with the city of Bellevue, area businesses and residents, PSE came up with a 2.89-mile route for the new 115-kilovolt electrical transmission line along Southeast 16th Street, 148th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street.

The Bellevue City Council is set to vote whether to approve moving forward with the project on April 20 based on recommendations from a hearing examiner for a conditional use permit and shoreline CUP. If passed, it would come before the East Bellevue Community Council, which would have 60 days to take action.

Parker said August is the earliest PSE expects to be able to begin construction, with a 6-8 month completion schedule for both the new line and substation upgrades. Power will be routed to affected customers from other substations when the one in Lake Hills is de-energized for upgrades. No outages are expected, Parker said.

PSE’s other transmission line project — Energize Eastside — proposes 18 miles of 230-kilovolt transmission lines from Redmond to Renton, but the energy company doesn’t anticipate that type of capacity ever being needed between the Lake Hills and Phantom Lake substations, said Andy Swayne, municipal liaison manager.

“The existing substation and the transmission lines that feed them are all 115 (kilovolts), so there wouldn’t be any benefit to developing 230 kilovolts,” Swayne said. “We generally don’t use it for serving local areas, that is local neighborhood substations.”

A small portion of the project on Southeast 16th will be completed last, said Parker, to allow the city to complete its own construction there, adding sidewalks, a new median and bike lanes.

The city is requiring PSE pay about $857,000 to mitigate the loss of 295 trees along the transmission line route, and the energy company continues working with the city on a plan for landscaping and tree replacement along Northeast Eighth and 148th.

“Our concern about the trees is just the height,” Parker said. “We don’t want the trees growing back up into these lines.”

PSE has made some alterations to its plans to accommodate residents and businesses, such as moving one of the 39 power poles to be erected to the corner by a resident’s property, said Parker, adding the company is aware not all of the 5,900 Lake Hills residents approve of the project.

“Not everybody’s going to be satisfied, we get it,” he said, “but we’ve been trying to work with the residents and the businesses where we’re going to be and acquiring the easements that we need.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Bellevue Chamber CEO: Volunteers help with downtown cleanup

Update: They are not seeking additional volunteers at this time. Cleanup comes after a few stores in Bellevue faced property damage from looters.

Bellevue City Hall. Photo courtesy city of Bellevue
How is COVID-19 impacting Bellevue?

New King County data dashboard breaks down case rates, number of unemployment filings and more.

Kabal Gill, owner of East India Grill in Federal Way, wears gloves to hand over take-out orders at his restaurant on March 23. File photo
New guidelines for Phase 2 reopenings in King County

All workers will need to wear masks as restaurants, retail shops and other businesses reopen.

This undated file photo provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows CDC’s laboratory test kit for the new coronavirus. Courtesy photo
Inslee wants nursing home residents and staff tested by June 12

Governor says state will pay for test kits and personal protective equipment.

Bellevue College selects Gary Locke as interim president

Locke formerly served as governor of Washington State

Stock image
Campgrounds to reopen in 22 Washington counties

Campgrounds in counties actively in Phase 2 of the reopening plan will begin to welcome visitors June 1, state says.

King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. FILE PHOTO
King County sheriff releases message about Minneapolis Police officer

Mitzi Johanknecht calls video of officer kneeling on neck of George Floyd ‘heartbreaking and disturbing’

File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
                                File photo of construction near North Bend on Aug. 16. Sound Publishing file photo
Rural King County mayors want state to let them enter Phase 2

Mayors cite heavy economic damage from prolonged shutdown.

New dashboard shows how far along King County is to meeting Phase II metrics

The county has met more than half its goals, but the ones it hasn’t met are critical in determining how many people are still being infected, and how quickly people are being tested.

Most Read