PSE is committed to providing safe, reliable, and efficient electric service on Bainbridge Island. We are investing in a collection of energy infrastructure projects that will make the island’s electric grid more reliable and resilient. The Winslow Tap transmission line rebuild project will include upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure, as well as managing vegetation, along the existing Winslow Tap transmission line corridor. This project is designed to improve reliability and reduce the frequency and duration of power outages for about 3,900 customers on the island.
We’ve done our best to identify opportunities to minimize the impacts of the Winslow Tap transmission line rebuild through project design and construction planning. Where impacts to wetlands and buffers are unavoidable, PSE is required to provide compensatory mitigation. In considering options for mitigation, we identified an opportunity with a trusted, respected, local community organization with extensive experience in science-based conservation – the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
“We approached the Land Trust because it is an organization with a proven track record of success in conservation on the island,” said Karen Brubeck, PSE’s Senior Community Engagement Representative. “PSE’s goal is to ensure the mitigation is implemented in a way that meshes with current work on the island, so it ultimately advances the Land Trust’s conservation mission and results in benefit to the ecosystem and the overall community.”
Prior to PSE approaching the Land Trust about mitigation opportunities, the organization had identified and acquired the 10-acre forested and wetland parcel on the North Fork Manzanita Creek. Acquiring this property aligned with the Land Trust’s conservation values and is consistent with their strategy to expand existing protected areas by connecting wildlife and stream corridors. After extensive discussion, the Land Trust and PSE determined that enhancement of wetlands and buffers on this 10-acre parcel was consistent with the Land Trust’s restoration and stewardship vision for the property and would also satisfy PSE’s mitigation requirements.
When permit approvals from the City of Bainbridge Island are received for the Winslow Tap Rebuild, PSE will work with the Land Trust to implement proposed enhancement on this property. PSE’s planned activities will provide valuable enhancement to degraded areas on a portion of the 10-acre site to ensure long-term conservation success. This holistic approach exceeds the City’s compensatory mitigation requirements. PSE is grateful for the opportunity to work with the Land Trust to advance their conservation mission while ensuring we can continue to provide safe, dependable power for years to come.