Each summer, the power utilities that serve the North Sound have crews out in the field conducting key maintenance, fresh installations and trimming vegetation away from power lines to enhance reliability during the upcoming winter storm season and to help meet growing demand.

Snohomish County PUD just announced what their key summer plans will entail. The biggest project will be additional work building a second high-voltage transmission line to Camano Island from Stanwood. This project is critical to deliver redundant power to the island for more reliable service along with additional key maintenance.

This project includes implementing an innovative solution in an area where the water table is high. PUD engineers and crews will use a process that will involve a casing, a cap and an excavator to slide the casing through soggy areas to allow power poles to be set in place. 85 new iron and steel poles are slated to be installed from Stanwood to the PUD’s North Camano Substations. Once the new transmission line is put in use, this substation will be expanded to accommodate the ongoing growth on the island.

PUD Operations Superintendent Paul Kiss noted, “The technique that our crews have developed to install these poles has the potential to save the PUD and its customers millions of dollars on this project.”

Elsewhere, other summer plans will involve completion of projects started last summer. One will be finishing construction of the new Sky Valley Substation in Monroe, providing enhanced capacity to meet growing power demand in the area. Another project to be completed will be installation of a second transformer bank at the Arlington Edgecomb Station. The second PUD bank will increase capacity and reliability in the area as well as at the nearby Cascade Industrial Center where several thousand new jobs lie ahead.

Summer work will also complete a new line extension over I-5 in Mountlake Terrace. This extension will connect the PUD’s Ballinger Substation to the other side of the freeway and will support additional growth in the city as well as the future Sound Transit Light Rail Station due to open later in 2024.

In addition, summer projects will include replacing hundreds of aging power poles, replacing dozens of miles of old underground cable, and accessing and treating thousands of poles. The PUD also plans to do more tree trimming, close to 450 miles of trees along powerlines to enhance reliability during the storm season.

This summer, give PUD crews room to do their work and thank them as they help ensure North Sound power is more reliable heading into the winter storm season and beyond for a growing region that has now exceeded 850,000 in population.