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 prior to our Annual Meeting. The OPALCO wholly-owned subsidiary, Rock Island Communications, provides broadband Internet services in San Juan County.

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

By-the-numbers snapshot:

  • 218,021,176 kilowatt hours (kWh) purchased (2018)
  • $29,028,553 in annual electric sales (2018)
  • $1,520,240 paid out to members for FY 1993-94 in Capital Credits (2018)
  • 15,142 meters connected (2018)
  • 11,316 members (2018)
  • 1,248 miles of power lines (87% underground) including 43 miles of overhead transmission lines (2018)
  • 178 members attended the 2018 Annual Meeting on the ferry; 1,741 ballots (15.4% 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

san juan county