PSE speaks to island's power consumption

Puget Sound Energy updated the city council Wednesday, on the utility’s plans for the island’s electrical needs.

PSE representative Linda Streissguth spoke to the island’s energy use and how PSE aims to have no need for another substation as long as island power consumption is below 58 megawatts between the Winslow and Murden Cove substations.

The island as a whole has done well staying below this limit, only going above it twice during this past winter season — once on Dec. 13, 2011, reaching 65.9 megawatts, and once again on Jan. 19, reaching 64 megawatts. Since Dec. 2009, the Winslow and Murden Cove substations have not peaked past the 58 megawatt limit.

One concern the company has is that even though the island may stay under the 58 megawatt limit, individual substations may experience peak loads that stress them beyond their limits—known as nameplate capacity. Exceeding the nameplate capacity of individual stations can cause wear and reduce the life of electrical equipment.

“Customers can lower their thermostats a few degrees, defer running dishwashers or doing laundry, and turn off unneeded appliances and lights,” Streissguth said.

Streissguth also pointed to the island’s online energy dashboard where residents can monitor their area’s usuage of power in real time. If they see high power consumption, they may want to cut down on use.

Other updates to the council involved moving some power lines underground near the Southwest end of Eagle Harbor. PSE expects to work on this project between Spring and Fall of 2012, and will finish before the next winter storm season.

The company is also looking to trim 26.5 miles of trees in areas sensitive to transmission lines and is planning to replace 51 poles on the island that have worn beyond repair.


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