future electric ferry example

Electric Ferries

Advocate for Ferry Electrification!

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OPALCO supports WSF deployment of new, cleaner, quieter and super-efficient electric-hybrid ferries to the San Juan Islands routes for decarbonization and to protect critical species in the Salish Sea.

Electric Ferries are Coming!

Why is ferry electrification so important?

Electrification of transportation is key to a clean energy future – and ferries play a big part of that initiative in the islands.

Carbon pollution impacts our sensitive marine environment through acidification, warming air and water temperatures and changes to shoreline health and levels. The number of species that are affected in this critical area of the Salish Sea area is remarkably concentrated and diverse: humans, Orca whales, salmon, oysters, clams, bait fish, near shore eelgrass and kelp beds, birds, otters, seals, sea lions, invertebrates, and myriad other fish and mammal species. In addition to carbon (and other contaminant) pollution, vessel noise has been identified as a major barrier to the health and survival of our Southern Resident Orca Whales.

Electric ferries are quiet and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

What is OPALCO doing?

OPALCO is committed to modernizing the infrastructure at our island ferry landings to make it easy and cost-effective for WSF ferries to charge while docked in San Juan County. Using a Clean Energy Fund grant from the Washington Department of Commerce, the early design work is already in progress for a ferry charging station at the Port of Friday Harbor. Staff are working to garner grants to pay for the upgrades and are designing the infrastructure in parallel with energy storage projects that can help reduce peak charges during the high-demand events when a ferry is plugged in.

Learn More

Please stay informed about ferry electrification and advocate with your elected officials for funding and fast deployment.

WSF Ferry Electrification Plan

Read the current WSF long range plan for deploying electric ferries over the next 20 years.

Advocate for Local Energy Resilience

OPALCO must build new local renewable energy generators and storage to support the transition to a clean energy future. We can ensure power for our islands while maintaining island aesthetics and keeping costs down. Let your San Juan County Commissioners know this is important to you!

Get Active

  • Friends of the San Juans
  • SeaDoc Society
  • Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
  • City of Anacortes
  • Swinomish Tribal Community
  • San Juan Community Home Trust
  • The Whale Museum
  • Lincoln Bormann
  • San Juan Islands Electric Vehicle Association
  • San Juan Island Energy Round Table
  • OPALCO Board of Directors
  • San Juan Islands Conservation District
  • Economic Development Council
  • San Juan County Preservation Trust
  • OPALCO Community Land Trust
  • Orcas Island Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
  • Ken Carrasco
  • Wally Gudgell

Legislative hotline: 1.800.562.6000 Contacts for current serving legislators can be found at www.leg.wa.gov/legislature/ Addresses for national representatives and senators can be found at this site also.

Rep. Alex Ramel 
132D Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7970

Rep. Debra Lekanoff
422 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7800

Sen. Liz Lovelett
215 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40440
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 786 – 7678