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Islanders' power consumption driving need for new substation
Public hearing and workshop on proposed substation will take place next week.
Last year, Bainbridge Island residents were told that a new substation would be needed to deal with strains on the city's power grid.
And islander's demand for electricity hasn't waned in the slightest since then.
In December 2008, Puget Sound Energy registered it's highest electricity demand on the island, exceeding 54-megavolt amperes on a central-island system that has a peak capacity of 56 megavolts.
"We have been talking about (building a new substation) since the early '90s," said Gretchen Aliabadi, a spokesperson for Puget Sound Energy. "Back then it was more a reliability issue; now the issue is load and reliability."
According to statistics provided by Puget Sound Energy, the average Bainbridge household uses just below 19,000 kilowatt hours annually. The average for all PSE households is 11,790 kilowatts.
"It is quite a bit more, and that is because of the predominance of electric heat, heated water and older homes," Aliabadi said.
The new 25-megavolt substation is aimed at increasing energy reliability and providing for the anticipated energy needs in an expanding Winslow core.
Construction on the new station would begin 2011 and PSE is looking at 11 different parcels to locate the facility.
Although a final site hasn't been decided on, the substation will be located between the Murden Cove substation on Sportsman Club Road and the Winslow substation on Bucklin Hill Road.
In the interim, a 115 kV transmission loop between the Winslow and Murden Cove stations would be erected to give the current system more reliability.
On Monday, PSE will hold a public forum and workshop on the proposed substation where community members can learn more about the project and ask questions.
According to Aliabadi, part of that discussion should involve how islanders can conserve more energy.
"If the community can conserve that is absolutely a goal," she said. "We would like to work with the community to do that."
Space is limited for the April 20 workshop on the substation, which will take place 3:30-6 p.m. at the Bainbridge Island Commons, 370 Brien Dr. An open public meeting will follow the workshop from 6.30-8.30 p.m. at the same location.
Questions can be directed to PSE's project manager Heather Brickey: (425) 456-2848 or firstname.lastname@example.org