King County Residents Face Potential Power Outages : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

King County Residents Face Potential Power Outages

BPA Seeks Public Comment on Transmission Project

MAPLE VALLEY, Wash., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Within two to three years, electricity demand in King County will be so great that even minor power line outages during a cold snap, or during peak use periods, could cause a complete loss of power in the King County area, according to the Bonneville PowerAdministration's forecasts. Such potential disruptions could develop as earlyas the winter of 2002-03. To head off the problem, BPA is considering options for a transmission system upgrade in the area and it wants to involve the public in its planning. A public meeting is being held on Wednesday, Sept. 20 for the public to ask questions and offer comments about BPA's plans. The meeting is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Maple Valley Community Center, 22010 SE 248th St.

BPA is proposing to build a transmission line in central King County. A new 500-kilovolt (kV) line would connect an existing transmission line near the community of Kangley with Echo Lake Substation, located near the junction of I-90 and Hwy 18. The new line would be about nine miles long. Several locations are being considered for the new line. Building no line is included in the list of options.

Citizens asked BPA in a public meeting in April to identify and study options that would avoid the Cedar River Municipal Watershed. BPA developed three possible options to address that request and these will be on display at Wednesday's public meeting. While there will be no formal presentations, BPA project team members will be at the meeting to answer questions. If the meeting schedule is inconvenient, citizens still can learn more about the project at the web site: They can also comment on the project by calling BPA's toll-free comment line at 800-622-4519. When leaving a message be sure to include the name of the project -- Kangley -- Echo Lake Transmission Project. Citizens can also send their comments to; or they can mail their comments to BPA, Public Affairs Officer - KC-7, PO Box 12999, Portland, Oregon 97212,+10:01+AM

-- Martin Thompson (, September 14, 2000


Note: King county is the Seattle metropolitan area and the home of yours truly.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 14, 2000.

Wow! I lived in King County for most of my life. Now in Eastern Washington on the Columbia, where the sun ALWAYS shines. Better tell the rest of the relatives over there about this one!

Thanks Martin.

-- Sue City (, September 14, 2000.

BPA says it needs new King County power line

Monday, September 18, 2000


King County's rapid growth is creating such a demand for power that minor outages during peak use -- like during a cold snap -- could soon cause a complete loss of power throughout the county unless a key transmission system is upgraded within two to three years, federal energy officials say.

That is why the Bonneville Power Administration -- a federal utility that wholesales nearly half of all electric power consumed in the Northwestern United States -- is studying proposals to construct a 9- mile transmission line in central King County.

The proposals will be discussed Wednesday in a public meeting in Maple Valley.

In the big scheme of things, a new 9-mile power line wouldn't seem to add up to much in one of the largest electrical transmission systems in the world.

BPA owns and operates 15,000 miles of lines that carry power -- primarily from 29 federal dams in the Columbia-Snake River Basin -- to a service area covering 300,000 square miles in all or parts of eight states.

But the stretch of its system through central King County -- from the rural community of Kangley to the Echo Lake Substation near where state Route 18 meets Interstate 90 -- is key to providing power for all of the greater Seattle area, said Lou Driessen, a BPA project manager.

"All of our lines are interconnected," he said. "If our facilities go down (in central King County), it could cause other lines in the area to overload, possibly creating a cascading type of effect."

According to projections based on recent power outages and increased demands on central King County's existing power lines, BPA officials say that to accommodate future electricity demands, a new power line must be built and the Echo Lake Substation must be expanded.

"It's been a long time -- over 10 years -- since we've done a system upgrade in the Seattle area," Driessen said.

In April, the BPA held its first public meeting on four original proposals to construct a 500-kilovolt power line that would connect an existing line from Kangley to the Echo Lake Substation. All of the alternatives called for constructing the lines through the Cedar River watershed.

Concerned about upsetting wildlife and the area's natural setting, some people asked the BPA to come up with ways to avoid running a 140- to 150-foot lattice-work system of power lines through the watershed, Driessen said.

The BPA has done that. Now, three of seven different options call for the proposed line to jut west around the watershed from the Raver Substation near Kangley, through residential areas, before connecting to an existing line to the north that runs east to the Echo Lake Substation.

"We're basically pitching one kind of impact against another," Driessen said. "Either it impacts the watershed or it impacts residential areas. That's why we want to hear from the public."

-- Martin Thompson (, September 18, 2000.

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