OPALCO About Us

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is a member-owned, non-profit cooperative utility providing energy services to San Juan County since 1937. Delivered to the islands by way of submarine cables, our mostly hydro-electric power is generated by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA).

OPALCO distributes energy to 20 islands in the archipelago and employs approximately 50 people in the county. Co-op member-owners elect a seven-member Board of Directors, who set policy, rates and direction. Elections are held each year at the Annual Meeting. The OPALCO wholly-owned subsidiary, Rock Island Communications, provides broadband Internet services in San Juan County

OPALCO contracts with BPA for transmission, power sales and conservation measures. Governing documents are available in the Resource Library.

By-the-numbers snapshot:

  • 208,350,294 kilowatt hours (kWh) purchased (2016)
  • $25,154,811 in annual electric sales (2016)
  • $1,857,846 paid out to members for FY 1990-91 in Capital Credits (2016)
  • 15,009 meters connected (2016)
  • 11,268 members (2016)
  • 1,340 miles of power lines (87% underground) including 43 miles of overhead transmission lines (2016)
  • 237 members attended the 2016 Annual Meeting on the ferry; 2,316 ballots (20.6% of membership) were cast for the Board election
  • 51 employees: all as members, owners, operators
  • 20 islands served
  • 15 distribution submarine cables, covering 7 miles
  • 10 transmission submarine cables, covering 15 miles
  • 11 substations
  • OPALCO Board members, elected by Co-op members
  • warehouses
  • crew stations
  • public-access offices
  • healthy and financially stable cooperative