The Rural Electrification Administration approved a loan to OPALCO for $281,725:
$78,500 to build new substations on Shaw and San Juan islands;
$21,500 to construct 4.4 miles of distribution line to serve 67 new customers;
$70,725 for new transmission facilities; $16,000 to increase capacity of existing distribution lines;
$5,000 to increase capacity of existing substations;
$66,000 for new transformers, meters, and service wires;
$14,000 for additional regulation equipment;
and $10,000 for additional working equipment.
K.A. McMillan was OPALCO’s Manager, E.H. Nash was the Superintendent on San Juan Island, and Eber Bruns was the Orcas Superintendent. Otis Perkins of Lopez was President of the Board.
In 1959, there were 1,663 members, an increase of 39% over ten years. The consumption per member per month was 714 kWh, four times as much as in 1949. The total energy usage was 13,939,150 kWh, generating $285,000 in energy sales. The average cost per kWh used in the 1950s was two cents. Interest and premium payments due REA were paid in full and a margin of $11,149.28 was recorded.