Seattle City Light provides electricity and electrical and conservation services to its public and private customers. It is the largest public utility in the Pacific Northwest. Public responsibility for electrical energy dates to 1890 with creation of the Department of Lighting and Water Works. In 1902, Seattle voters passed a bond issue to develop hydroelectric power on the Cedar River under the administration of the Water Department. Electricity from this development began to serve Seattle in 1905. A City Charter amendment in 1910 created the Lighting Department. Under the leadership of Superintendent James D. Ross, the department developed the Skagit River hydroelectric project, which began supplying power in 1924. Both public and private power were supplied to Seattle until 1951 when the City purchased the private electrical power supply operations, making the Lighting Department the sole supplier. The Boundary Project in northern Washington began operation in 1967 and currently supplies over half of City Light's power generation. Approximately ten percent of City Light's income comes from the sale of surplus energy to customers in the Northwest and Southwest. The current name of the agency was adopted in 1978 when the Department was reorganized.
Included in this series of annual reports are reports for the Municipal Light and Power Plant and System dating from 1913 to 1917; these are signed by J.D. Ross. Lighting Department or City Light annual reports exist from 1910 to 1985, although reports for some years are missing. In some cases there are two reports for one year; some of these are financial reports, while others are comparative or reports outlining highlights of the year addressed to the Mayor and City Council.
Beginning in 1911, the earliest Lighting Department annual reports are complete with a historical review, photographic illustrations, graphs, and statistical information. Many include maps and detail power plant development. The reports, although shorter, continue to be well illustrated and to supply statistical information through the 1970s and 1980s. They reflect issues such as conservation and droughts.
The 1977 and 1978 annual reports for the City Light Office of Conservation are also included in this series.
Records were originally filed with the City Clerk in the Comptroller/Clerk's Files (CFs) and were removed to create this record series.
Restrictions on Access :
Records are open to the public.Preferred Citation :
[Item and date], Seattle City Light Annual Reports, Record Series 1802-F6. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.
Reports are arranged chronologically by year.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.