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Power substation to reduce area outages

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - A new Puget Sound Energy (PSE) substation on Novelty Hill is expected to reduce the frequency and duration of certain power outages for the company's 10,500 customers in Snoqualmie Valley by 50 percent.

"The upgrades from the Novelty Hill project will result in a much more efficient electrical system," said Dave Townsend, system planning engineer for Puget Sound Eneregy. "It will enable us to serve our customers' increased electrical loads more reliably in northeast King County."

According to PSE officials, the project will not cause a rate increase in addition to annual boosts nor will Snoqualmie Valley customers be impacted by any construction surrounding the project.

By adding a substation and several short transmission-line segments, the electrical system will be able to serve the Valley's high demand, which has increased 22 percent over the past 10 years, better.

Additionally, the new transmission-line construction will allow PSE to convert two existing long transmission lines into four shorter segments, allowing the company to provide additional backup paths during a power outage. Currently one long line serves the Valley from Carnation to Snqoualimie.

PSE has obtained the necessary permits and is moving forward with preliminary activities needed to begin construction on the new substation. In addition, permits for the related transmisison lines are undergoing final review by King County, and are expected to be issued later this year.

If everything goes according to schedule, PSE expects construction to begin this summer and will be completed in 2006.

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