Islanders who were living here in 2000, may remember the big decision OPALCO faced about whether to purchase more fiber optic lines than the co-op's system required.
The forward-thinking board voted unanimously to purchase 12 fibers. The decision had to be made then in order to be done as part of the new electrical lines Bonneville was installing.
A dozen years later, when a communication crisis hit the residents who fought against the purchase - it wasn't needed, new technology would soon make fiber optic obsolete - have been proved wrong. The progressive decision made by the OPALCO board looks wiser than ever.
Posted below are two stories, one from 2000 and the other from 2001. Also posted is the OPALCO Fiber Optic Mission and Vision Statement.
At the Northwest Public Power Association's annual Northwest Innovations Conference in September, OPALCO was honored with two of the top Excellence in Communication awards: first place for best annual report publication (2012) and another first place for a collection of commemorative items created for the Co-op's 75th Anniversary celebration.
Doctors at Harborview Medical Center are calling injured OPALCO Journeyman Lineman Kevin Zoerb the "Miracle Man.". Zoerb underwent a very successful surgery on his hand, which was burned in the accident on September 20, 2013 when he came into contact with a high voltage line.
Kevin Zoerb, an OPALCO journeyman lineman was working on the south end of Lopez Island this morning (Friday, Sept. 20) when he came in contact with a high voltage line. He was airlifted to Harborview and admitted to the burn unit in critical condition.
A new policy approved at the OPALCO Board’s July 18, 2013 meeting opens the door for non-profit organizations to collaborate with the Co-op to create new opportunities for energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy production in San Juan County.