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Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has filed a request to increase electric and natural gas rates in late 2008. This request would allow the utility to recover large investments made in energy infrastructure in 2006 and 2007, which will continue to be needed to serve the growing region, as well as costs related to higher operating and power-supply expenses, according to the company.

If approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), the general rate case filing would raise PSE's average electric and natural gas rates by 9.5% and 5.31%, respectively, effective Nov. 1, 2008.

As filed with the WUTC, the PSE request would annually provide an additional $174.5 million in electric revenue and $56.8 million in natural gas revenue to help the utility continue to meet growth demands in the utility's 11-county, 6,000 square-mile service area of western Washington.

"In 2005 and 2006 alone, we invested $635 million in our electric and natural gas delivery systems, including six new substations, more than 600 miles of new power lines and almost 400 miles of new natural gas pipelines," says Eric M. Markell, vice president and chief financial officer of PSE. "That's on top of the $580 million we have invested in our two wind farms."

PSE is proposing to recover new investments in renewable energy resources including four more wind turbines at its Hopkins Ridge Wind Power Facility, where 83 turbines have generated renewable energy to PSE customers since November 2005, and a new, 20-year power purchase agreement with PPM Energy for 50 MW of electricity generated from the Klondike III Wind Project in north-central Oregon.


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