PSE announces progress on BI projects

Puget Sound Energy recently released a newsletter spotlighting what it has done on Bainbridge Island in the past year.

  • Upgraded the electric distribution system along NE Baker Hill Road and NE Hidden Cove Road. It replaced existing wire with tree wire and moved a section of overhead line underground to protect power lines from falling branches.
  • It replaced overhead wires across Highway 305 at NE Hidden Cove Road and north of NE Day Road. To minimize impacts to customers and the public, it did the work at night and closed part of the highway.
  • Updated aging equipment at the Port Madison Substation. More upgrades will occur in the spring.
  • Submitted a permit application for the Winslow Tap Rebuild and continued project design and permitting activities.
  • Surveyed additional trees along the new Murden Cove-Winslow 115kV transmission line route to evaluate conditions and minimize impacts to trees, critical areas and waterways as it continues designing the new transmission line.
  • Trimmed trees along power lines to maintain safe and reliable power.
  • Signed an agreement with Washington State Ferries on ferry electrification. The partnership includes eight ferry terminals, beginning with the one on BI.
  • Encouraged BI customers on BI to sign up for the Flex Smart+ program to shift their energy use and save money.
  • Updated the community on the projects, including presentations at city, community organization and neighborhood meetings; mailing a newsletter to residents and businesses and providing regular updates through e-newsletters, one-on-one conversations, the website, social media and more.

Speaking of Flex Smart, PSE launched the energy-efficiency pilot program in November to help meet BI’s growing demand for energy.

By enrolling a smart thermostat or water heater, Flex Smart+ participants enable PSE to automatically adjust their temperature set point by a few degrees for a few hours on days when it predicts more demand for electricity. The temperature adjustment shifts energy use. For example, a Flex event might occur on a day with exceptionally hot or cold weather, when more energy is used to heat and cool homes. The program helps smooth out energy demand.

Over 200 BI customers have enrolled in Flex Smart+, and PSE’s completed 118 residential home upgrade projects, saving 304,692 kilowatt-hours, enough to power 29 homes a year. By shifting when customers use electricity and using less, they help ensure that everyone has access to energy when they need it most. In the future, it will help PSE shift usage to match availability of renewable sources like wind and solar.

There are incentives to join; go

Meanwhile, as winter weather hits, if you see vegetation near PSE lines or equipment causing a safety hazard that needs immediate attention, call 1-888-225-5773. The Electric First Response team is the fastest way to ensure the issue is resolved.

Finally, PSE provides $200,000 to 75 local nonprofits in 10 counties to make the winter a little warmer for those in need.

The funds support three critical components of a warm winter: meals, clothing and some holiday joy. In Kitsap County, the following organizations received Warm Winter funds: BI Community Senior Center, Island Volunteer Caregivers, Bremerton Foodline, DocluvtheKids, Helpline House, North Kitsap Fishline, Salvation Army of Bremerton and South Kitsap Helpline.