Snohomish County Public Utility District No. 1, or the “PUD,” was created on November 3, 1936, by a majority vote of the people, for the purpose of providing publicly owned electric and water utility service to the people of Snohomish County and Camano Island. The vote to create the PUD was part of the public power movement in the Pacific Northwest.
In the early years, the PUD was primarily in the water distribution business, beginning operations on January 17, 1946. The Lake Stevens Water System was the first project to be organized and built. Other projects followed, like the Beverly Park Water System and Sunnyside Water System.
On September 1, 1949, the PUD became primarily an electric utility with the purchase of the electrical distribution system to serve all of Snohomish County and Camano Island from Puget Sound Power & Light Company. The purchase price was $16 million, raised through the sale of $19.5 million in electric revenue bonds.
In the early 1980s, the PUD built its own Henry M. Jackson Hydroelectric Project (a hydroelectric generating facility located on the Sultan River). In 2008, the utility acquired the Woods Creek Hydroelectric Project and brought the Youngs Creek Hydroelectric Project online in 2011. Both are located in the Sultan area. In 2018, the PUD brought both the Hancock Creek and Calligan Creek hydropower projects online, which are located near North Bend.