Back to Blog

Power Outage on Shaw, Orcas and Crane Islands Resolved Quickly

At 2:15 pm on Friday, May 28, 2010, the power went out on all of Shaw, Orcas and Crane Islands after a fault occurred on a submarine cable that runs from Shaw to Orcas. Crews had responded to an alarm on the submarine cable, which is monitored remotely through OPALCO’s automated metering infrastructure using SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) software. While switching power to a second submarine cable in the crossing, an insulator failed, causing the outage.

Crews worked to quickly re-route power to the second submarine cable, restoring power to all members by 3:40 pm. The submarine cable involved in the outage has been taken out of service for repairs. OPALCO has 15 submarine cables distributing power between the islands and all but one crossing have two cables in place, in case of failure. The outage was resolved quickly because of the new remote monitoring system; without that technology, crews would have spent time and resources finding the fault before they could fix it.

OPALCO is a member-owned cooperative electrical utility serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 97% greenhouse-gas free and is predominately generated by hydro-electric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to rural islanders.

You may also like...

virtual meeting stock

Meet the OPALCO Board Candidates March 9th. Ballots hit the mail March 10th.

As a member-owned cooperative, OPALCO members elect the Board of Directors who are responsible for setting policies and rates, essentially guiding the course for our electric utility. The 2023 nominations … Read more

Ask Lindsay: Tips for Businesses in San Juan County

What programs are available to OPALCO businesses? In 2023, OPALCO has a grant-funded program for businesses called Energize San Juans. This grant helps businesses and farms in the islands upgrade … Read more

EGC Announces OPALCO Board Candidates – Nominations by Petition Due February 17th

The volunteer member Elections & Governance Committee (EGC) has completed their nominations process and selected a slate of candidates for the 2023 OPALCO Board of Directors election. There are two … Read more