Vote in OPALCO’s election; voters are eligible for prizes

The OPALCO election opens March 6 and the Co-op will be hosting a Candidate Forum on that same day so co-op members can meet the candidates. 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 2024 nominations process is complete and the slate of candidates is:

District 1 (one open position): Wendy Heister

District 2 (one open position): Tom Osterman

NOTE: Everyone votes for every open position, regardless of home island. Voting makes you eligible to win one of our great prizes (including electric home and lawn tools).

On March 6 at 5 p.m., OPALCO will be hosting a virtual Candidate Forum for members to hear from the candidates. The virtual event will be moderated by Steve Bowman, of the League of Woman Voters and members are encouraged to come with questions for the candidates. Register for the candidate forum online:

Ballots and voting materials will be sent to all co-op members on March 6th via regular mail and e-mail (if there is an email address on file). OPALCO is required to get a quorum of at least 10% of the membership and will be encouraging voter participation by sending paper ballots to every member this year. Our third-party election vendor, Survey & Ballot Systems (SBS), has measures in place to make sure each voter gets only one vote. All members vote in each district for all open positions regardless of where they live.

Candidate information is available now on OPALCO’s elections hub:

The election closes on April 22 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Ballots must be submitted online or by mail to SBS; no ballots can be accepted at OPALCO offices.

The Annual Meeting is going to look different this year! OPALCO is dividing up the business meeting (still virtual) with a new member appreciation event and coming back live and in person at OPALCO’s Eastsound headquarters! The annual events will kick off on Thursday, April 25 at 8:30 a.m. on Zoom for the required business to take place, as well as the announcement of election results. On Friday, April 26 from 3-6 p.m., all members are invited to a member appreciation event on OPALCO’s Orcas Island campus with information booths, give aways, an EV Jamboree, kids activities, a BBQ, safety demonstrations and tours of the

headquarters. The traditional annual meeting prizes will be back: great electric tools and useful items to make your electric life better. Members who cast their ballot are eligible for prizes, as well as those who attend the meeting on April 26. A shuttle will carry members who need to travel from the Orcas ferry landing to the headquarters and back. Please let us know if you need a ride: contact

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is our member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,400 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 97% greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937. Follow OPALCO @OrcasPower on Facebook and Twitter.