Our History

PSE has a rich history of energy leadership, ground-breaking innovation and dedicated service to its customers and local communities.

Timeline at a glance

(with notable energy milestones)

1873, New Year's Eve Gas street lampsSeattle Gas Light Company, the earliest PSE predecessor established this same year, introduces the Washington Territory to manufactured-gas lighting.
1879 Thomas Edison invents the first long-lasting incandescent light bulb.
1883 The first genuine solar cell is built.
1884 The electric alternator is invented, an electric generator producing alternating current (AC), better for sending electricity over long distances.
1886 First Seattle electric plantThanks to Seattle Electric Light Company, a PSE predecessor, the Puget Sound region receives electric service from a central power plant.
1898 Snoqualmie FallsPSE predecessor Puget Sound Power and Light builds the region's first large hydroelectric plant at Snoqualmie Falls.
1932 Rock Island DamPSE predecessors build the Columbia River's first massive hydropower plant, the Rock Island Dam, now owned and operated by Chelan County Public Utility District.
Mid 1930's Still shot from Looking ForwardPSE predecessor Puget Sound Power and Light goes Hollywood, filming energy's role in society, "Looking Forward" — a quaint and purely public relations effort of the day.
1937 The Bonneville Dam begins delivering electric power from the Columbia River.
1956 Historic 1956 activation of natural gas systemThe Puget Sound region receives its first natural gas service from the Washington Natural Gas Company, a PSE predecessor.
1994 The first solar dish generator is tied to a utility grid.
1997 Old PSE logoPSE adopts its name and current structure upon the merger of Puget Sound Power and Light Company, and Washington Energy Company.
2005 Wind turbinesWith two wind facilities complete (Wild Horse and Hopkins Ridge), PSE is the single largest producer of renewable energy in the Pacific Northwest.
2012 PSE completes its third and largest wind project, the 343-megawatt Lower Snake River Wind Facility

Sources to create this timeline include Puget Sound Energy archives and the U.S. Energy Information Administration

Looking Forward

See how PSE predecessor Puget Sound Power and Light describes its business, role in society in the 1930s.