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Hansville generator is on hand

HANSVILLE — It was a mild winter last year, but will it be the same forecast or worse for this year?

Will temperatures reach record lows, requiring the infamous Hansville generator to be turned on as needed at its site off Little Boston Road?

Puget Sound Energy officials aren’t taking chances and have already installed the emergency diesel generator for such situations.

“It will only fire up or kick on in extremely cold weather,” said PSE spokeswoman Lynn Carlson.

It sat silently tucked away in the woods last year as warmer than usual winter temperatures never warranted its use.

The generator is a temporary solution to help supply power to the electric grid that feeds Hansville while PSE works on developing a more permanent solution — a substation to be located off Hansville Road, just north of State Route 104. The substation is expected to be completed next year in time for the winter of 2006-07. There will be a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Kingston Community Center, where residents can learn more details about the plan for the substation.

In 2003, PSE had initially decided to install an underwater cable in Gamble Bay that would feed the grid from a substation in Port Gamble to Hansville. But because of growth of the area, the company’s officials decided it needed to construct another substation instead.

The existing cable that runs from Port Gamble to Hansville tends to reach capacity during winter months, officials have explained, threatening brown-outs and power outages. The temporary generator would help relieve the cable’s capacity when bad weather strikes and threatens blackouts, or if the cable is damaged.

In May 2003, the idea of installing a generator within the community met opposition from residents, who claimed that the machine would cause long-term health problems in the area. After looking at several different sites, PSE found a solution in April 2004 by moving the generator out of the immediate area and on to a small parcel off Little Boston Road.

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