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PSE makes electric system improvement presentation to Kenmore City Council

Energy reliability continues to be a major area of concern for the Kenmore City Council and city staff.

In an effort to become more informed about what Puget Sound Energy is doing to address these issues, Assistant City Manager Nancy Ousley coordinated a presentation from two PSE employees to the council at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Puget Sound Energy Municipal Liaison Manager RaeLynn Asah and Government Relations Manager Don Amor gave the presentation, listing both completed and planned projects that will affect energy reliability in Kenmore.

The 2016 completed improvements include a distribution automation project to detect damage and restore customers within seconds, new overhead switches on NE 185th Street (allowing workers to reconfigure a distribution circuit to restore power faster), new reclosers on NE 169th Street and NE 195th Street (which prevent some customers from experiencing outages), converting to underground power lines east of 83rd Avenue NE (to improve reliability for residents living downstream of lines along Bothell Way near Simonds Road) and an upgrade to the Moorlands-Vitulli transmission line, which runs through northern Kenmore, which includes rebuilding the 5-mile line between Moorlands substation in Kenmore and Vitulli substation in Bothell.

Asah also presented data on recent outages and outages from the last five years. The city experienced nine non-storm outage events in 2015, and that number is down to four in 2016.

The planned improvements in 2017 and 2018 include feeder reroute and reconductor projects at various locations, including NE Arrowhead Drive, NE 185th Street and NE 199th Street. Tree wire, which is an insulated conductor that is less likely to go out from tree branches, will also be installed as part of those projects. PSE also plans to rebuild the existing transmission line between the Stillwater and Cottage Brook substations, which will provide more reliable service to Kenmore, Bothell and Woodinville.

Councilmember Stacey Denuski asked if the planned projects were fully funded, and Asah said they are.

PSE plans to hold a public open house on Jan. 24 at Kenmore City Hall. The time has not been set yet. In addition, PSE will be sending out community report cards to customers asking for their feedback.

The complete presentation given by Asah and Amor can be found in the agenda packet for the Dec. 5 council meeting on the city’s website, www.kenmorewa.gov. Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to contact Asah at raelynn.asah@pse.com.

The PSE presentation came after Exponent, an engineering and scientific consulting firm hired by the city, gave a presentation on energy reliability in Kenmore and recommended measures that could improve reliability at the Nov. 7 city council meeting. The Exponent report also can be found on the city’s website. Both the Dec. 5 and Nov. 7 meetings are available to watch online through the city’s website as well.

Ousley said she will take both of these presentations and repeated feedback from approximately 150 concerned Kenmore residents into account as the city pursues franchise agreement negotiations with PSE this month and into 2017. “They frankly have just had it,” Ousley said of the citizen feedback about power reliability. “We will leave no stone unturned (in the negotiations).”

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