OPALCO’S MORE Program Pays Dividends to Local Renewable Generators

Earlier this year, a volunteer group of OPALCO members built a new green power program in support of local renewable energy—electricity generated by our fellow co-op members and interconnected to OPALCO’s distribution system. OPALCO members contribute to the MORE (Member Owned Renewable Energy) Program with voluntary donations on their monthly bills to fund incentive payments to MORE renewable energy producers. The first MORE incentives were paid out to producers for the first annual cycle of the program that ended June 30, 2011.

There are 14 local OPALCO member producers signed up with the MORE Program. The total in incentives paid for 2011 was $5,493; and the total allowable kilowatt hours (kWh) generated was 18,311 (two systems generated more than the 4,000 kWh cap). All of the MORE member generators are solar and together they produced a total of 23,925 kWh of local, clean and renewable energy.

There are two ways OPALCO members can participate in the MORE Program: Producers—members who install new renewable energy systems and interconnect to the OPALCO grid; and Contributors—members who opt for monthly or one-time donations to support the MORE fund. As of September 30, 2011, 465 Contributors are purchasing

$4 “blocks” of green power each month for a total of 985 blocks in support the MORE Program. In addition, there are 45 MORE “Superheroes” (co-op members who have elected to go “all green”) paying a four-cent premium in addition to their regular charge per kWh. Participation is currently at 4.8% of the OPALCO membership.

How can you participate? Simply check the “green power” box on your paper bill, or call the office at 376-3500 to opt in. MORE Contributors receive a MORE window sticker to show their commitment to local renewable energy. To learn more about MORE, please go to energysavings.opalco.com.

OPALCO is our cooperative electrical utility serving more than 11,000 co-op member-owners on 20 islands in San Juan County. We provide electricity that is 95% greenhouse-gas free and is predominately generated by hydro-electric plants. OPALCO was founded in 1937 to bring electricity to our rural islands.