Topic: Energy

Join OPALCO’s Virtual Annual Meeting April 24

Written on April 9, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

Enter to Win Community Solar Shares or Electric Lawnmower From OPALCO If you pay your power bill to OPALCO, you’re a member of the electrical co-op. OPALCO, or Orcas Power & Light Cooperative, is a member-owned cooperative electric utility that serves 20 islands in San Juan County. Each year OPALCO holds its annual meeting to  Continue Reading

OPALCO Clears Trees Under Power Lines To Improve Safety, Forest Health

Written on March 30, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From OPALCO Orcas Power & Light Cooperative is clearing the right-of-way areas under power lines to protect the electrical system from outages, remove forest fuels that could feed a wildfire and improve forest health through biochar amendments to the soil. OPALCO is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving San Juan County.  The Civilian Conservation Corp  Continue Reading

Letter: OPALCO Orcas District Reps Ask For Vote

Written on March 28, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From Jeffrey Struthers and Rick Christmas, OPALCO Orcas District Representatives It is time to vote for Orcas district directors for OPALCO and Rock Island. We, your current Orcas district directors — Jeffrey Struthers and Rick Christmas — ask for your vote. Here is why we believe you should return both of us to the board  Continue Reading

OPALCO Candidate Forum March 17, Election March 22

Written on March 11, 2021 at 5:30 am, by

From OPALCO OPALCO members are owners of the cooperative and each year elect community members to the board. Board members set rates, make policies and plan for our community’s energy future. Members will be receiving their voter’s guide and ballot either by email or via mail. All OPALCO members vote in every election regardless of  Continue Reading

OPALCO Board Voting Opens March 22

Written on March 2, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From OPALCO As a cooperative, OPALCO holds elections for its board positions on an annual basis. The 2021 election is the first year of the staggered election process. ALL OPALCO members vote in every election regardless of their home district. The following are running for OPALCO board positions this year: • District 2 (two positions  Continue Reading

Celebrate OPALCO’s Completed Solar Array On Decatur

Written on February 14, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

 From OPALCO Join OPALCO at noon, Feb. 24 on Zoom for a video tour of the energy co-op’s first community solar array on Decatur Island with a panel discussion and Q&A session. OPALCO installed a one-megawatt battery storage project to couple with their first community solar array on Decatur Island. This microgrid is the  Continue Reading

OPALCO Employees On Lopez Test Positive For COVID

Written on February 12, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From OPALCO Three OPALCO employees have tested positive for COVID-19 on Lopez and others are under quarantine, following the San Juan County protocol. At this time, the employees who tested positive appear to have mild to no symptoms and are resting at home. As their quarantine periods are up over the next week or so,  Continue Reading

OPALCO Board Zoom Meetings Open To Members

Written on January 20, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

From OPALCO Beginning with the Jan. 21 regular meeting of the OPALCO Board of Directors, co-op members will be able to sit in on virtual board meetings using a Zoom connection. A link for members to access the meetings will be published with board materials each Monday before a board meeting online at Go  Continue Reading

OPALCO Restores Power After 18-Hour Outage

Written on January 16, 2021 at 5:00 am, by

From OPALCO In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Jan. 13, a big storm hit the Northwest region of Washington state with wind gusts of 50-65 mph in the San Juan Island area. By 1 a.m., all of San Juan County was without power after large trees fell onto the Puget Sound Energy lines feeding  Continue Reading

Power Restored To San Juan Islands

Written on January 13, 2021 at 9:40 pm, by

By Hayley Day, San Juan Update As of 7:40 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 13, OPALCO reported that power was being restored to all 20 islands in phases. “Be prepared for some potential small outages as the system comes back up,” read the islands’ energy co-op Facebook page. “Be sure to thank a lineman!”  Early Wednesday morning,  Continue Reading

Run For OPALCO Board

Written on January 11, 2021 at 4:30 am, by

Deadline for Nominations is January 27 From OPALCO Now is your chance for a seat at the table as the OPALCO Board plans the future power supply for San Juan County. OPALCO is seeking nominations for board candidates for two open positions in District 2 (Orcas, Armitage, Big Double, Blakely, Fawn, Little Double and Obstruction  Continue Reading

San Juan Students Provide Solar Power To Kenya Schools

Written on December 16, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

By San Juan Island School District During the school year 2018-19, the Friday Harbor High School’s Advanced Placement environmental science class partnered with a nonprofit to build two “expedition class solar suitcases,” to study both renewable energy and social issues around the world. We Share Solar — a nonprofit whose mission includes providing health workers  Continue Reading

No OPALCO Rate Increase In 2021

Written on November 27, 2020 at 4:30 am, by

Community Solar Project Coming to San Juan Island By OPALCO The OPALCO Board of Directors passed the 2021 Co-op budget at their Nov. 24 meeting and approved a 0 percent rate increase – that’s no rate increase – in consideration of the ongoing pandemic and its economic hardships. The approved budget also includes a second,  Continue Reading

Help Your Neighbor Pay Their Power Bill

Written on November 11, 2020 at 4:00 am, by

By OPALCO As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, power bills go up and many islanders struggle to make ends meet. This year, more than ever, islanders will have to dig deep to stay current on their bills. Orcas Power & Light Cooperative created Project PAL to help co-op members look out for  Continue Reading

OPALCO Questions San Juan County Council Candidates

Written on October 14, 2020 at 5:30 am, by

With the energy world changing dramatically, OPALCO leadership invited San Juan County Council candidates to state their positions on key issues affecting the co-op members. Climate change, carbon legislation and the transition to renewable power are all affecting energy for the region. OPALCO has a plan to meet these new challenges but OPALCO will need  Continue Reading


Written on September 17, 2020 at 5:46 am, by

OPALCO is Prepared for Wildfire Prevention – Are You? Safety is the primary objective at the core of everything OPALCO does. OPALCO continues to use an aggressive Right-of-Way Program (tree and brush trimming along power lines) and the latest technologies to reduce flammable material and mitigate fire risk. The long-term investment is key to the  Continue Reading

OPALCO Extends COVID-19 Bill Pay Assistance

Written on August 19, 2020 at 6:02 pm, by

Members who are struggling to pay their power bills during COVID-19 can apply for assistance to keep their OPALCO accounts up to date. The Board voted to continue COVID-19 Relief Measures for as long as the approved funding lasts. Members can apply for assistance online at or through their Family/Community Resource Center. The measures available  Continue Reading


Written on July 25, 2020 at 7:05 am, by

Since March, OPALCO has helped more than 450 members to pay their bills. Other members have given generously to the member assistance programs: donating solar production credits or directly to the low-income programs. Many other members have benefited by not accruing fees or being disconnected for non-payment during these difficult times. OPALCO is closely monitoring  Continue Reading

Land Bank and OPALCO Collaborate on Turtleback Powerline Improvements

Written on May 29, 2020 at 5:33 pm, by

Tailgater Session June 10th – Come Chat OPALCO will soon be undertaking a a project on Turtleback Mountain to remove Douglas fir along the powerline corridor and replace power poles. This project, in collaboration with the San Juan County Land Bank, will serve two purposes: securing the safety and reliability of the power supply to  Continue Reading

WWTP Solar Panel Project

Written on May 22, 2020 at 3:21 pm, by

“I am pleased to see this Project come online,” said Friday Harbor Mayor Farhad Ghatan. “It is incumbent on us to do what we can to use renewable resources. It is not only environmentally beneficial but provides a benefit to our ratepayers.” Next week the Town of Friday Harbor will activate its first solar power  Continue Reading


Written on April 27, 2020 at 11:14 am, by

Opalco Board Approves Additional Covid-19 Relief Measures Commercial members in need can apply for base fee waiver We are all in this together. OPALCO is very concerned about how its members are getting along during this pandemic and is digging deep to put any and all available resources into helping members to pay their power  Continue Reading


Written on April 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm, by

Opalco Board Election Results: Dauciunas And Madsen 20 Voters Get $50 Bill Credits! OPALCO’S uncontested election drew 1,373 voters, a good 12% of the membership—and a quorum. Members elected Vince Dauciunas to a three-year term with 1,270 votes; and Mark Madsen to a two-year term with 1,186 votes. The staggered terms were created so that,  Continue Reading