A Brief History of Tanner Electric Cooperative

Tanner Electric was founded in 1936 as the “Mutual Power and Light Association of Tanner” by rural people near the Tanner District southeast of North Bend. The cooperative was founded to provide electric service for those in this area who could not afford to pay the costs imposed by the power company serving their area.

The original group approached the Rural Electrification Administration (R.E.A.) and, with the assistance of J.D. Ross (then Superintendent of Seattle City Light), was able to obtain the first R.E.A. loan in the State of Washington. This loan of $13,000.00 was made to construct 13 miles of line for 32 members. The contracts were let, and by the end of 1937, the Cooperative had its first 32 members. They purchased 6,000 kWh from Seattle City Light’s Cedar Falls plant, and the Cooperative’s first year revenue was $286.67.

From 1937 to 1947, all power used by the Cooperative was purchased from Seattle City Light at Cedar Falls. In 1947, the first contract with Bonneville Power Administration was signed and the Cooperative began to purchase Bonneville power wheeled by Seattle City Light. The wheeling arrangement with Seattle was continued until November 1966 when a new Bonneville contract shifted the point of delivery for the North Bend area power to the North Bend substation of Puget Sound Power and Light Company. Today in North Bend we serve over 2,400 meters.

In 1954 the residents of Ames Lake attempted to obtain power from Puget Sound Energy and were unsuccessful. Tanner Electric was contacted and in late 1954 Tanner Electric obtained a contract with Puget Sound Energy to purchase power to serve Ames Lake. Tanner Electric constructed the necessary lines and began service to approximately 50 members that year. Today in Ames Lake we provide service to over 1,500 meters.

In 1960 the Cooperative was requested to serve Anderson Island by the R.E.A.  A two-mile submersible cable was installed and the first 44 members were connected in late 1961. Today on Anderson Island we serve over 1,300 meters.

We have experienced quite a few changes since then and now have approximately 5,200 meters, both residential and commercial, within our membership. Tanner Electric still practices the seven cooperative principles and is a non-profit utility that puts people and the community at the center of its business, not capital. We are members of the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association (WRECA), Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA), and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

Tanner Electric Cooperative also contributes to the community through various organizations such as Snoqualmie Valley Rotary, Little League sponsorship, and Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce. We also provide three individual scholarships to our local high school students whose parents are members of the Cooperative. We also award one Lineworker training scholarship of $4,000 by means of the Allan Billett Memorial Lineworker Scholarship. to help assist with some of the tuition to an accredited Lineworker College.