...1951 - 1975

1959 Co-Op Update

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 … Read More

Lopez-San Juan Cable Breaks Again

The submarine cable between Lopez and San Juan failed again. Diesel generators in Friday Harbor supplied power until the early morning of July 17, when the repaired cable … Read More

Friday Harbor OPALCO Office Shuttered to Save Money

OPALCO’s Friday Harbor offices closed for reasons of economy. They reopened in September, 1960.

Senator Fred Martin Speaks about Inter-Island Bridges at Annual Meeting

More than 350 people attended the Annual Meeting. State Senator Fred J. Martin spoke on the recent legislative session and developments regarding the proposed inter-island bridges. The 4-H … Read More

OPALCO Beacon Newsletter October, 1956

OPALCO has communicated with members in a variety of ways over the years.  Early on, OPALCO had a regular spot in the local papers.  Later, the monthly OPALCO … Read More

MacMillan Replaces Letellier as General Manager

In 1956, General Manager George Letellier resigned and K. A. MacMillan was hired.

Tidal Current Destroys Lopez-San Juan Cable

The four-year-old Lopez-to–San Juan Okonite submarine cable failed due to the tremendous tidal current. Repairs were not finished until May 9 and cost $32,294.27. In addition, the excess … Read More

Mid-1950s Trend: “Live Better Electrically!”

The mid-1950s saw a nationwide effort to promote electric power sales. National “Live Better Electrically” and the “Medallion Homes” campaigns were launched.    

OPALCO Headquarters Relocation Debate Draws 910 voters to Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting drew the largest crowd in the history of the San Juans: 910 members in attendance. There was a vote to decide where OPALCO’s headquarters should be … Read More

Willie Wiredhand Debuts at OPALCO

OPALCO didn’t start using the “Willie Wiredhand” mascot until 1953, two years after NRECA made him available to their member rural electric cooperatives. Here is Willie’s first appearance … Read More