Quick Facts

Our Energy Future

Quick Facts related to the future of energy and how members can prepare

ice harbor dam

Where Does OPALCO Stand on Regional Power and the Dams?

The region is facing a big transformation through decarbonization to combat climate change. Everything is at stake: environmental health, species survival, power affordability, regional control of power resources and concerns about having enough power to meet demand. This situation involves lots of moving parts, major capital projects, government policies and funding—as well as conflicting stakeholder interests. OPALCO is following the ...
turn it down

Quick Fact – OPALCO’s Plan for our Energy Future

Climate change is transforming our world. OPALCO has a smart plan for our energy future – and it depends each of us doing our part! Our energy world is changing rapidly. Say goodbye to fossil fuels (propane, natural gas, gasoline, wood, oil). OPALCO has a plan to meet the new challenges. It’s going to be a heavy lift, but we ...
winter capacity

Quick Facts – Decarbonization – Part 4

Energy Shortages: This is a four-part series looking at how climate impact is rapidly changing our world and the coming challenges as we make the transition to a future that is climate sustainable. Increasing load, reduced capacity Decarbonizing energy generation and consumption must be accomplished as quickly as possible. But the increase in electric load and decrease in capacity to ...
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Member programs

Find info on programs for OPALCO members

Rock Island

Quick Fact: Rock Island Communications

Rock Island is OPALCO’s wholly-owned subsidiary. Together they have built a hybrid fiber and LTE wireless network to meet the needs of our rural, remote territory. This robust communication system solves multiple critical needs including improving public safety, controlling OPALCO’s electrical system maintenance and outage costs, and providing a connection to resources and the greater world. OPALCO gave Rock Island ...
coops vote

Quick Fact – OPALCO election process

OPALCO’s Board of Director election is a cornerstone of Co-op Democracy. OPALCO depends on an independent member Elections & Governance Committee to cultivate quality candidates and review election processes and policy. OPALCO works with a third party election vendor to ensure a secure and fair election. OPALCO’s bylaws prescribe the complete elections process, including nominations, qualifications, public notification and timelines. ...
switch it up

Quick Fact – Switch It Up!

Switch It Up! is OPALCO’s beneficial electrification program that saves members money. OPALCO’s Switch It Up! Program is an example of Beneficial Electrification. OPALCO is encouraging the use of efficient electrical technologies for heating, transportation, and water heating instead of fossil fuels or other ineffiecient appliances for the benefit of the environment while saving members money and improving the overall ...
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Co-op Governance

The ins and outs of how the co-op works

Chart of OPALCO's fixed costs

Quick Fact: Cost of Service

Your power bill = the cost to deliver power Co-ops operate as a cost of service organization. The money OPALCO collects in bills goes primarily toward the cost of power, labor to deliver power and manage the system and capital projects. We budget for required expense and then plan rates to collect enough revenue to cover expense – plus a ...
OPALCO Staff 2019

Quick Fact: Staff Compensation

OPALCO conducts a thorough comparative analysis to verify that salaries are competitive within our utility industry. Hiring and retaining top notch personnel is critical to the operation of OPALCO’s complex electrical and communications systems. OPALCO’s wage philosophy is directly in line with the national network of electric co-ops. OPALCO pay rates are competitive based on electric utility cooperatives in the ...

Quick Fact – National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA)

NRECA supports our local co-op and our employees to better serve our membership. NRECA is focused on promoting, supporting and protecting the community and business interests of electric cooperatives as they power communities and empower members to improve their quality of life. NRECA works with member-cooperatives to anticipate, shape and respond to changes in technology, law and public policy and ...
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Regional Issues

Regional issues affect our island communities


Quick Fact: Ocean Health

OPALCO is committed to reducing carbon emissions for the health of the Salish Sea. Climate change is making our oceans warmer, more acidic and less productive. Ocean acidification happens when our oceans absorb carbon dioxide. It threatens marine ecosystems world wide including our Salish Sea. The decrease in the ocean pH makes it harder for calcifying animals like the Dungeness ...

Quick Fact: Northwest Resource Adequacy in a Rapidly Decarbonizing World

Northwest regional load is projected to double by 2050 due to the electrification of transportation and heating, which account for most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region. This has the potential to reduce GHGs by 72%. This doubling of load will likely initially present significant problems, due to the combination of NIMByism (Sierra Club is opposing 317 wind power ...
sheep solar

Quick Fact – Land for Renewable Energy Projects

The Essential Ingredient for Local Energy Resilience The Climate Emergency and Decarbonization The climate emergency is accelerating. Washington state has taken the lead in decarbonizing the state by rapidly reducing fossil fuel emissions, especially from driving and heating. Decarbonization will nearly double demand for electricity, while reducing TOTAL energy demand by 28% (see chart at left). The Washington Clean Energy ...
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Renewable energy is the future!

Photo of Solar Panels on Residence

Quick Fact: Understanding the Change in Solar Rates

How will the new rate structure affect member generators? The average solar producer will pay a little more to OPALCO each year, but there are many factors (such as size of array, household energy usage) and some might find they pay less. Current solar producers can opt out of the new tariff (by June 30, 2022). Here is the form ...
colorful battery

Quick Fact: Decatur Island Battery Storage Project

The microgrid that OPALCO built on Decatur Island includes a battery storage project paired with a Community Solar Array. The project can operate independently from the electrical grid. This is the first of many microgrids OPALCO envisions to build greater local energy resilience for our remote island communities. The project provides valuable cost-saving and efficiency benefits including: demand charge reduction ...
hydropower graph

Quick Fact: Why Hydropower is Important to our Power Supply

Hydro is one of the cleanest and lowest-cost forms of energy, cleaner even than solar and wind power. This makes it an essential resource for fighting climate change through decarbonization, especially as transportation – which accounts for ~40% of greenhouse gas emissions – shifts to electricity. About 86% of OPALCO’s energy comes from hydro, supplied from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) ...
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