OPALCO benefits by teaming up with regional generating co-op

  • Sun Jan 7th, 2018 7:00am
  • News

Submitted by OPALCO

OPALCO staff are looking for options after the electrical co-op’s contact with Bonneville Power Administration expires in 2028.

Foster Hildreth, the OPALCO general manager, joined the board of PNGC Power in 2017 to participate in a regional dialogue about OPALCO’s options. This increases OPALCO’s buying power as the co-op plans for an energy future that includes more renewable and clean energy sources.

PNGC Power is a power supplier and co-operative of 15 regional electric cooperative utilities who are banding together to build greater access to affordable power, renewable resources and to influence public policy. PNGC is advocating for its member utilities with state and federal elected officials and helping to navigate major topics such as the Columbia River Treaty with Canada.

“Our industry is changing rapidly,” said Hildreth. “The expertise we gain through PNGC’s top-notch team is the most important long-term strategic cost-saving measure we could put in place.”

PNGCis an extension of OPALCO to improve reliability, provide accelerated resource planning, more direct interaction with BPA for billing, project management, and more accurate forecasting for power purchases.

“Joining forces with other energy co-ops,” said Hildreth, “gives us the buying power of BPA’s third largest customer.”

PNGC staff agrees.

“PNGC Power is strengthened by having OPALCO at the table,” said Beth Looney, president and CEO of PNGC. “Staying current in today’s complex transmission and power arenas requires constant attention. We focus on what matters to our members and to their bottom lines — delivering the lowest cost wholesale power to our members. OPALCO’s unique voice will add to the PNGC conversation as we look to the future and chart our path.”

PNGC is a forward-looking power supplier, focused on responsible, affordable energy solutions for its members. PNGC believes in a pro-renewable, reduced carbon approach, as they see those technologies as the future of power supply in the Northwest.

“I’m excited for the wisdom, reach and resources that PNGC brings to our co-op membership,” said Hildreth. “I know we’re in good hands and I strongly encourage other co-ops to reach out to PNGC for membership.

Orcas Power & Light Cooperative (OPALCO) is the local member-owned cooperative electric utility, serving more than 11,000 members on 20 islands in San Juan County. OPALCO provides electricity that is 95 percent greenhouse-gas free and is generated predominantly by hydroelectric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937. Follow OPALCO @OrcasPower on Facebook and Twitter.