Topic: Energy


Written on January 15, 2018 at 5:38 am, by

OPALCO Seeks Board Candidates for District 2 (Orcas et al) Nominations are now open for the 2018 OPALCO Board of Directors election. There are two positions up for election in District 2 (Orcas, Armitage, Big Double, Blakely, Fawn, Little Double and Obstruction islands). Interested co-op members from District 2 can apply to be nominated through  Continue Reading

Island Women’s March

Written on January 11, 2018 at 5:50 am, by

Fired Up! Ready to go! Island Women’s March invites all islands to participate in a sidewalk march on January 20th, 2018 in Friday Harbor. We will meet at the Friday Harbor Courthouse on 1st Street, next to the American Legion. Staging time will be at Noon and the march will start at 12:30. The Saturday  Continue Reading


Written on January 4, 2018 at 5:43 am, by

OPALCO + PNGC = more power to shape our islands’ energy future PNGC is a power supplier and cooperative of 15 regional electric cooperative utilities who are banding together to build greater access to affordable power, renewable resources and to influence public policy. It also increases OPALCO’s buying power as we plan for an energy  Continue Reading

A Wonderful Gift for the Historical Museum

Written on December 22, 2017 at 5:48 am, by

Preserving, interpreting and exhibiting the history of San Juan Island are key components of the San Juan Historical Society and Museum’s mission. With the maintenance of 1.6 acres of property, eight buildings averaging 90 years of age, insurance and utilities, there are many expenses involved with the overall day to day running of your Historical  Continue Reading

Rate Increase Coming

Written on December 18, 2017 at 5:43 am, by

OPALCO Bills Go Up in January – average of $7 When OPALCO members open their bills in January, they will be about $7 higher. Most of the increase is driven by the 2017 installation of “George” (our new $15M submarine cable named after George Goff), inflation and BPA rate increases. This change represents a 5%  Continue Reading


Written on December 4, 2017 at 5:43 am, by

OPALCO Members Get Year-End $$ Money Back! Colder temperatures in 2017 brought in greater revenue than projected and, as a result, all OPALCO co-op members who paid a bill for any part of 2017 will receive a credit on their last bill in December. The average credit for residential members (based on typical energy usage)  Continue Reading

OPALCO Outage Update

Written on November 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm, by

OPALCO Linemen Work Dark to Dark to Bring Back the Light 55 MPH Winds Sweeps Power Outages Across San Juan Islands Sunday, November 26th was a long day for OPALCO linemen, engineers and staff members. A big wind storm knocked down transmission poles on Shaw at around 3:15 am cutting off power to Shaw, Orcas,  Continue Reading


Written on November 22, 2017 at 8:53 am, by

Capital Credit Checks Coming – plus a little extra! In December, capital credit checks will be sent out to members who were active in 1992, which is OPALCO’s usual 25-year cycle for capital credit distributions. Based on a larger than projected margin, the Board decided to include an additional amount, about 45% of 1993 margins.  Continue Reading

Why Did the Power Go Out?

Written on November 20, 2017 at 5:49 am, by

Curious about what may cause a power outage? Watch this OPALCO video about a recent outage on San Juan Island! Power outages have many different causes – failed equipment, car accidents, trees, critters and bad weather – to name a few. The outage on October 27th affected 1700 members on San Juan Island for about  Continue Reading

Jim Lett Retiring

Written on October 27, 2017 at 5:48 am, by

OPALCO Board Member Jim Lett to Retire; Candidates Sought for Board Appointment OPALCO Board Member Jim Lett has announced his retirement in order to spend more time with his “crowd of grandchildren.” Lett will retire on January 31, 2018 and the member Election & Governance Committee is seeking applications from candidates from District 3 (Lopez,  Continue Reading

Green Home Tour – San Juan Island

Written on October 6, 2017 at 5:54 am, by

The 2017 Green Home Tour is here! Join us at the San Juan Grange in Friday Harbor for an introduction to Green Building Technology, Networking and Green Talks! Then hop into one of our Electric Vehicles for a guided tour of some of San Juan Island’s greenest homes! Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10:00 am  Continue Reading

October is National Co-op Month!

Written on October 6, 2017 at 5:47 am, by

Co-ops in the San Juan Islands are teaming up to celebrate National Co-op month. OPALCO, San Juan Island Food Co-op and Orcas Food Co-op are all hosting member appreciation events this month to celebrate the benefits of co-ops. As member-owned and member-controlled businesses, cooperatives commit to meeting the needs of their members and building stronger  Continue Reading

OPALCO’s Submarine Cable

Written on September 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm, by

OPALCO is making good progress on laying the new submarine cable “George” across Griffin Bay from Lopez to SJ Island. It’s been a project long in the making and the end is now nearly in sight. It all began in 2011 during routine maintenance when divers discovered significant damage to the 1977 cable. Over the  Continue Reading

Upcoming OPALCO Events

Written on September 18, 2017 at 5:46 am, by

Lots of Opportunities to Participate in Your Local Co-op! OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative committed to democratic member control and community involvement. In the coming weeks, there are a number of opportunities for OPALCO members to join in conversation with the Board, staff and each other. Members are encouraged to participate! The second in a  Continue Reading

Solar Survey Results

Written on September 16, 2017 at 5:46 am, by

Survey Results Show Support for Community Solar Proposals sought for design and construction More than 1,200 members responded to OPALCO’s online survey about Community Solar, measuring preferences, appetite and collecting narrative comments. In a nutshell, the membership is very interested in Community Solar so long as it doesn’t affect rates. A request for proposals was  Continue Reading

County Seeks Public Input on Comprehensive Plan

Written on September 15, 2017 at 11:02 am, by

San Juan County Comprehensive Plan 2036 Update Vision, Values, and Priorities Public Engagement Opportunity The Department of Community Development will be hosting events to elicit public input on the County’s Comprehensive Plan vision, values, and priorities. The public is encouraged to attend our Pop-Up Studios and Community Workshops. Community input is vital to ensure that  Continue Reading

Seeing Only What We Want to See

Written on September 13, 2017 at 5:47 am, by

In the San Juan Update mailbag today we find this letter from Steve Ulvi… This place, protectively moated by surging tidal waters from the continuous spreading rash of the I-5 corridor, is a prominent geography of hope. I suspect that this has been a place of promise from the first human footprints on the beach  Continue Reading

Electric Cars at the Mullis Center Sunday

Written on September 1, 2017 at 9:14 am, by

On Sunday there will be a free presentation, Around the World in “80 Days” via an Electric Car, at the Mullis Center. (Come for the Pancake Breakfast stay for the electric cars!). Presenter Alan Soule of Sebastopol, California will share his around the world adventure…  You are invited to a free (public) slide presentation at the  Continue Reading

Community Solar News

Written on July 26, 2017 at 5:44 am, by

Call to Artists: Design the Community Solar logo! OPALCO is planning our first Community Solar project to be installed on Decatur Island in 2018. This year is all about planning, talking to members and learning from the projects that our peers in the co-op world have already built. More than 1,200 members took a community  Continue Reading

San Juan County Scholars Shine at Regional Co-op Leadership Camp

Written on July 25, 2017 at 5:48 am, by

Six San Juan County high-school students attended the Co-op Youth Rally at The College of Idaho as part of OPALCO’s Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Youth Scholarship Program. During the week-long leadership camp in July, four of the six students earned top scholarships ranging from $300-$600 from the Idaho Consumer-owned Utilities Association (ICUA), who hosts the camp.  Continue Reading

Community Solar Survey

Written on June 3, 2017 at 5:43 am, by

(Editor’s note: This post has been corrected. A previous version listed the power generation incorrectly) Community Solar Gives Everyone A Chance To Generate Clean, Green Local Power OPALCO has more than 220 Co-op members who generate their own power. With Community Solar, the rest of us will get a chance to purchase a piece of  Continue Reading