Substation powers up for December

HANSVILLE — Ringing phones in Hansville will no longer carry requests for brown outs or for residents to limit their energy consumption during the peak months. With the advent of the new Kingston substation, Hansville residents will have all the electricity they need to power their homes, cook meals and stay warm through the winter.

Puget Sound Energy is predicting the substation, which will boost energy in the North End with 25 megawatts, will be completed in early- to mid-December, said Puget Sound Energy spokesperson Gretchen Alaibadi. This will mean an easier winter for many of Kitsap County’s northernmost residents, who during previous years struggled with keeping electricity usage low and longer than necessary outages.

“Yeah, exactly, getting those brown out calls, calling all of your neighbors and other residents in the area to turn off all of their electrical items they can, I won’t miss that,” said Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council Chairwoman Judy Foritano. “Or getting irritated because you have to make those calls. I fully understand it will not deal with regular outages, but we will get power back faster.”

Until this winter, Hansville homeowners had to cope with electricity run to them through a cable from Port Gamble and Salsbury Point. The cable can burn out if too much demand is placed on it for power, and residents were asked to limit their consumption during the wintertime, when more lights and heaters are used. The cable didn’t burn out, but to assist Hansville a supplemental generator was placed near Little Boston during the last three years.

“We have a mobile substation there until we have to test the new substation, the mobile sub will be out there,” Alaibadi said. “Essentially, it is a portable substation. What I can tell you is once everything is functioning properly, and functioning safely, we’ll get the substation up and running. That could take several weeks to do.”

GHAAC member Fred Nelson, who has been a liaison between the council and PSE, said there haven’t been any cold snaps this winter, causing residents to need to draw on the mobile substation, but it will be a welcome addition to the North End when temperatures start to drop. He said the generator was only used as a backup in extreme cold, and was removed last spring.

“Puget Sound Energy is looking to the future to handle growth,” he said. “I think it’s important, not just for Hansville, but for Kingston, too. We’re pretty excited the substation is there, it has answered a lot of concerns a lot of residents had about there not being enough power to match the growth.”

Alaibadi said once the substation has been put on the grid, it should provide enough electricity to keep the North End in power for quite a while, even with the growing area. There is room on the property to double the megawatts in the future as needed, she added.

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