Investing in electric reliability and grid modernization

11/18/2019

Sharing our plans with the community 

We were pleased to see so many of you at the community meeting on Oct. 17 where Andy Wappler, Vice President of Customer Operations & Communications, and Jens Nedrud, Manager of System Planning, shared our plans to improve electric reliability and modernize the grid on Bainbridge Island.

As a recap, Wappler and Nedrud explained that electric reliability on the Island needs to be improved. Bainbridge Island customers experience more frequent outages than our average customer. Trees, aging infrastructure, and the design of the existing transmission system that leaves two-thirds of island’s system without backup transmission all contribute to poor reliability. In addition, population growth and ferry electrification are creating more electric demand.

Nedrud reported that in looking for solutions to these challenges, his team considered both traditional wires alternatives and “non-wires” alternatives, which are options that do not include poles, wires and substations.

The resulting project package combines new technologies and grid infrastructure to ensure safe, dependable power for families and businesses for years to come. These projects address Bainbridge Island’s electric needs by:

  • Adding the “missing link” transmission line to improve reliability.
  • Rebuilding an aging transmission line for resiliency.
  • Solving the island’s capacity needs using non-wires solutions, specifically through a utility-scale battery and targeted conservation and demand response tools.

icons of one tramission line, one battery, a house and a thermosat that are being added together.

“We’re proud to serve Bainbridge Island and to deliver a package of projects that improves reliability, addresses the island’s growing demand needs, and aligns with the community’s values,” said Wappler. Wappler closed by saying that the project team will partner with the community to implement these solutions.

In addition to the presentation, we had great conversations with the 70-plus attendees and answered questions on the package of projects and other topics, like undergrounding, tree trimming, clean energy and improvements to the distribution system.

Visit this page to view meeting materials. 

Read some local media coverage of the event here.