Back to Blog


A new policy approved at the OPALCO Board’s July 18th meeting opens the door for non-profit organizations to collaborate with the Co-op to create new opportunities for energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy production in San Juan County. OPALCO’s current Energy Efficiency & Conservation program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), provides great benefits to our members in the way of rebates and incentives, but is limited by a constraint that the member home or business must be heated with electricity. Policy 28 will serve to accelerate energy efficiency and conservation measures by inviting qualified participating non-profits to seek grant funding for programs, incentives and education opportunities without that constraint.

“Our goal,” said OPALCO General Manager Randy Cornelius, “is to better serve our members and reduce our co-op energy load by making best use of the resources available in the region. We have a real talent pool in San Juan County: smart, creative and experienced people who – we hope – will help us to develop new ideas and funding avenues for education, outreach and greater energy efficiency.”

OPALCO’s Member Owned Renewable Energy (MORE) program includes 113 local renewable generators, interconnected to OPALCO’s distribution system. Policy 28 will also open the door for more local renewable power through community solar and other grant-funded activities and incentives. OPALCO is currently investigating whether any of our properties would be an appropriate site for a community solar installation. If so, a qualified non-profit could install, maintain and manage a solar generator with many community members sharing in the investment – and energy credits produced.

To qualify, organizations must be an independent non-profit entity under Washington State Law, be self-funding and governed by a board and advisors drawn from all of the ferry-served islands in OPALCO’s service area. OPALCO will contract with qualified non-profits through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes the scope of work and standards. Policy 28 and the MOU are available below. Interested non-profits can also contact Bev Madan ( for more information.

Policy 28 Collaborating with Nonprofits to Accelerate Energy Efficiency
Policy 28 MOU

You may also like...


Member Story: A New Energy Efficiency Leader in the Heart of Eastsound

There’s a new building on the block. Right in the middle of Main Street in Eastsound on Orcas Island, the new building that houses the Windemere Real Estate office and … Read more
surge protector

Quick Fact: Surge Protection

In the electric industry, power surges are unavoidable. However, just like with home security systems, there are things we can do to protect us from surges, though never fully. The … Read more
Federal IRA program

How to get Federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) $$$ Working for You

Island Way Workshop: September 6 @ 5 pm via Zoom The new federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides billions in funding to help Americans prepare for a more affordable energy … Read more