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The Sun Shines at OPALCO Meeting on the Ferry; Struthers and Christmas Elected

OPALCO members boarded the ferry on Saturday, April 21st to participate in the 2018 Annual Meeting. This year the meeting was on the interisland ferry, resulting in significant cost savings for co-op members. With a hearty “Here Comes the Sun!” OPALCO celebrated the early success (~90% sold) of its first Community Solar project and gave members a last chance to participate. By the end of the meeting, the first Community Solar project was fully subscribed!

The annual meeting reached the necessary quorum (at least 10%) with 1794 members (16%) casting ballots in the Board of Directors election. In an uncontested race, Rick Christmas and Jeff Struthers were elected to serve on the Co-op Board. Go to OPALCO’s Resource Library for full election counts. Foster Hildreth, General Manager, shared his gratitude and appreciation for Winnie Adams and Randy Cornelius, whose board service ended with this election. Read Winnie Adam’s parting words to the membership.

The 2018 Nourdine Jensen Cooperative Scholars were announced: Henry Miller of Spring Street International School; Arlo Harold, Natalie Meenan, and Aida Must of Friday Harbor High School.  Each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship and trip to the Youth Rally Co-op Leadership Camp in Idaho this summer.  Zach Fincher of Friday Harbor High School will return as youth director.

The future is bright for OPALCO as the leadership emphasized 2017 accomplishments including the completion of the submarine cable installation project, planning for its first big community solar project, and a $750,000 give back to the members in December 2017 due higher than projected revenues from colder weather. A documentary video of the submarine cable project was shown at the meeting.

Vince Dauciunas, OPALCO board president talked about what it means to be a board member and the Board’s emphasis on safety and local resiliency, renewable energy, and a high quality of life in San Juan County.

Lunch was provided by local caterers: Market Chef, Orcas Village Store, and Angel’s Catering. Thanks to OPALCO’s generous vendors and partners, close to 30 prizes were given out to members attending the meeting including NEST thermostats, HomePods, and other energy efficient smart devices.  Door prizes were provided by: Anixter, CoBank, CRC, Eaton, EES Consulting, General Pacific, Island Excavating, NRUCFC, NWPPA, Oldcastle Precast Utility Vault, Orcas Construction Company, Pixelspoke, Proglass, PNGC, WESCO Distribution, Rock Island Communications and Brown & Kysar.

All members who attend the meeting will receive a $5 bill credit. The following co-op members will receive a $50 bill credit after their names were randomly drawn from all ballots received: Nancy Loebke, Orcas; Joyce Nielsen, San Juan; David Durand, Orcas; Gerrold Gonce, Lopez; Bryan Hoyer, Orcas; Marilyn Gunning, San Juan; Louise Johnson, Lopez; Kathryn Bowes, Orcas; Brian McMillen, Orcas; David Harsh, San Juan.

OPALCO is required by the Rural Utilities Services (RUS) to hold an annual meeting each year.  Members who missed the meeting can read the 2017 Annual Report online ( A limited supply of printed copies are available at your local OPALCO office, as long as supplies lasts.

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