Nebraska Wildlife Federation Assessment: Closing Fort Calhoun an Opportunity to Add Renewable Energy

NEWFlogoThe Omaha Public Power District board voted to close its Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station at a board meeting Thursday morning in Omaha. A Nebraska Wildlife Federation assessment shows that the move will increase carbon pollution and other climate gases, unless it is offset with a renewed commitment by OPPD to wind, solar, energy efficiency, Smart Grid and other clean energy solutions. Download Nebraska Wildlife Federation’s Assessment here.

OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station is the smallest commercial nuclear power plant operating in the US, and OPPD management has cited high operating costs in its recommendation to close the power plant. The Federation analysis says short-term the replacement power would almost certainly come from power plants fueled by coal and natural gas, adding pollution to our atmosphere. The Federation analysis says adding 600 MW of new wind energy, 50 MW of new solar energy, a dedicated energy efficiency program designed to reduce customer energy use by 2% per year, and smart grid and new energy storage technologies could avoid the air pollution impact, and would be affordable for OPPD customers given the low cost of wind, solar, and energy efficiency.