...1935 - 1950

Carolyn Harrison Sisley – Founding Member Family

Early OPALCO – From a Child’s Memory I was three years old when we moved to Orcas. My Dad, John E. Harrison, was born and raised in Eastsound, … Read More

“Willie Wiredhand” Mascot Introduced

Willie Wiredhand, the mascot created by the National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association (NRECA), makes his national debut. OPALCO wouldn’t use this mascot until June, 1953.

Schoolkids Design First Logo

A contest was held among students of the island high schools for an OPALCO logo. Osborne Van Moorham and Buddy Russell of Nellie S. Milton School tied and … Read More

1950 Update

OPALCO had a little more than 200 miles of overhead distribution line installed: 70 on Orcas Island, 45 on Lopez, 75 on San Juan, and 12 on Shaw … Read More

OPALCO Powers 1191 Members

At 11 years old, OPALCO had 1191 consumers using an average of 171 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. A total usage of 2,444,671 kWh generated $128,661.00 in energy sales. … Read More

New “Superior” Diesel Generators Arrive

Two Superior diesel generators were installed at the Orcas generating plant.

New Diesel Generators Ordered

“Generator for Island on Order in East. May Take a Month for It to Get Here. Juice Must Be Saved.” Orcas Islander, June 5, 1947. The article stated … Read More

Record Power Usage Causes Blackout

The generating plant at Orcas had a record load of 225kW and the fuses at the transformer bank blew, causing an island-wide blackout. Outages due to overload were … Read More

NRECA Founded

Electric cooperative leaders organized the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) in Washington DC.

OPALCO Buys Land on Lopez, Builds Generating Plant

OPALCO acquired five acres on Lopez from “Mrs. Riviere” and built a new diesel power plant.