Before this, electric utilities had focused on providing power for streetcars, street lighting, and industrial users. The city of Seattle had begun generating electric power for street lights on October 14, 1904.
The City Light Cedar River Power Plant began operating on January 10, 1905, but it only provided power to Seattle’s street lights. In September 1905, the city began selling the excess electricity it produced to private individuals and companies. Demands from Seattle residents for more electrical service caused the city to propose more bond issues for greater generating capacity at the power plant at Cedar Falls.