Tag Archives: Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)

Midlands Voices: OPPD moving too fast with power plan

By John Crabtree, Omaha World-Herald. The writer, of Fremont, Nebraska,
is the campaign representative for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign.

After stating a desire to engage the public in its on-going decarbonization planning, OPPD has presented a plan of its own without engaging stakeholders in a meaningful way. “Power with Purpose” was first introduced at the Oct. 17 board meeting. A timeline was established for consideration of the proposal at the Nov. 14 meeting and specifying that OPPD would receive public input on the proposal through Nov. 8. Having touted the intention to get feedback about the plans, OPPD is now pushing through a plan to spend what would amount to half billion dollars of ratepayer funds while only offering a few weeks for the public to process. Read more here. Requires digital subscription.

Related

More power needed: OPPD plans to build Nebraska’s largest solar farm, plus natural gas plants, Omaha World-Herald. Construction on the new solar farm and natural gas plants is expected to begin in 2020. The solar farm could be completed in 2022 or 2023. The natural gas plants could be built by 2023 or 2024.

Previously Posted Reports & News Stories

Energy Efficiency

Nebraska’s growth potential for developing our communities’ energy-efficient economies is enormous, which would reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and keep more of our energy dollars in our state. Nebraska ranks 43rd on the 2019 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy State Scorecard. The Scorecard demonstrates that energy efficiency is “a key resource nationwide, with utilities spending approximately $8 billion in 2018 for efficiency programs and saving 27.1 million MWh of electricity:” Resource Link: 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard – 13th Edition

Nebraska’s Energy Efficiency Scorecard

Other State Rankings

  • Colorado: 14th
  • Iowa: 23rd
  • Kansas: 46th
  • Massachusetts: 1st
  • Minnesota: 8th
  • Missouri: 30th

Carbon Footprints / Environmental Impacts Of Solar & Wind Energy Versus “Cleanest” Natural Gas Power Plants

  • An introduction to the state of wind power in the U.S., by Philip Warburg, environmental lawyer and former president of the Conservation Law Foundation. Published by Yale Climate Connections. As a non-carbon-emitting technology, wind power has a big environmental advantage over its leading fossil fuel competitors. Onshore and offshore wind has a life cycle carbon footprint of 20 grams or less of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. The “cleanest” natural gas power plants – those that use combined cycle technology – produce more than 400 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Supercritical coal plants – the least polluting in the industry – generate close to 800 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour.
  • Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Solar Photovoltaics, National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Photovoltaic (PV) solar has a life cycle carbon footprint of 40 grams or less of COequivalent per kilowatt-hour.

OPPD Board of Directors Vice Chair Craig Moody Hosting Town Hall

Announcement by Craig Moody

November 7, 2019 at 7 pm
UNO’s Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, Room 127
6400 University Drive S, Omaha, Nebraska 68182

I’m interested in hearing what issues are important to you and what your vision is for OPPD.

Elected to OPPD’s Board of Directors in 2016 representing Subdivision 5, Moody currently serves as Board Vice Chair. 

Facebook Announcement 

Additional Announcements – New & Previously Posted 

OPPD looking to build largest solar farm in Nebraska, still need public’s input

By DeLaun Dillard, KETV

The Omaha Public Power District wants to invest in a brighter and cleaner future, and the company’s CEO says solar energy is the best way to make that happen. “We want to make sure that decisions we make around the future generation, we maintain our current reliability and resiliency,” said OPPD CEO Tim Burke. “That’s important for us as a company but it’s really important for our community. OPPD is looking to build a solar farm with between 400 and 600 megawatts. Read the rest of the post or watch the video here.

OPPD’s board of directors wants public input before they make a final decision on November 14th. Comments will be accepted through the end of the day, Friday, November 8th here.

Photo Credit: American Public Power Association

OPPD proposes changes that focus on large-scale utility solar

By Jason Kuiper, The Wire

OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke said the new generation, the details of which would become clearer after requests for proposal are answered, is needed in light of a changing generation and customer landscape.

At their November meeting, the board could approve a final recommendation and authorize management to negotiate and enter into contracts. The stakeholder process, where customers can provide feedback on the proposal, will be open until Nov. 8 at oppdlistens.com.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing 

Previously Posted 

  • OPPD Laying The Groundwork For A Bright Energy Future, OPPD News Release, June 20, 2019
    Initiatives will include a long-term study to address the long-term balance of load generation, along with decarbonization options for the district’s generation mix. Vice President Mary Fisher spoke to the topic, noting that the energy generation landscape is changing rapidly. Fisher said the drivers are primarily improving renewable technology, and environmental considerations around carbon emissions and climate change, “something our customers clearly care about.”
  • With new board members, Omaha utility making moves toward low-carbon future, Midwest Energy News

Data on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Renewable Energy Versus Fossil Fuels 

  • An introduction to the state of wind power in the U.S., by Philip Warburg, environmental lawyer and former president of the Conservation Law Foundation. Published by Yale Climate Connections. As a non-carbon-emitting technology, wind power has a big environmental advantage over its leading fossil fuel competitors. Onshore and offshore wind has a life cycle carbon footprint of 20 grams or less of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. The “cleanest” natural gas power plants – those that use combined cycle technology – produce more than 400 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour. Supercritical coal plants – the least polluting in the industry – generate close to 800 grams of CO2 equivalent per kilowatt-hour.
  • Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Solar Photovoltaics, National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Photovoltaic (PV) solar has a life cycle carbon footprint of 40 grams or less of COequivalent per kilowatt-hour.

Rocky Mountain Institute Study

Related News Story

  • The Stranded Asset Threat to Natural Gas, Greentech Media
    There are $70 billion worth of natural-gas-fired power plants planned in the U.S. through the mid-2020s. But a combination of wind, solar, batteries and demand-side management could threaten up to 90 percent of those investments. New modeling from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows that more than 60 gigawatts of new gas plants are already economically challenged by those technologies. And by the mid-2030s, existing gas plants will be under threat. How severe is the threat? Could we eventually see tens of gigawatts of stranded gas plants? RMI set out to answer that question in two reports on the economics of gas generation and gas pipelines. The tipping point is now, it concludes. 

What are “stranded assets?”

Stranded assets are now generally accepted to be fossil fuel supply and generation resources which, at some time prior to the end of their economic life (as assumed at the investment decision point), are no longer able to earn an economic return (i.e. meet the company’s internal rate of return), as a result of changes associated with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Source: Carbon Tracker Initiative

Sarpy County data centers have $522 million impact statewide, UNL report shows

By Reece Ristau, Omaha World-Herald

Business leaders in Nebraska take every available opportunity to refer to the state as the “Silicon Prairie,” a play on the term for Northern California’s cluster of big technology companies. The idea behind the term — to bring those companies, and by extension, high-paying jobs and more money, into the state — is playing out in Sarpy County, which recently landed its eighth data center with Google’s $600 million announcement. University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers recently set out to determine how big an impact the data center industry has on the local economy, and their findings revealed some whopping figures. Continue reading here.

Local View: This week, celebrate public power

By Layne Sup, LES Administrative Board Chair,
Lincoln Journal Star

The week of Oct. 6-12 is Public Power Week, our annual chance to highlight public power and what it means. While public power is honored nationwide this week, Nebraska has special cause to celebrate.

Public power utilities in Nebraska have had a long tradition of providing customers safe, reliable electric service. Ours is the only 100% public power state in the United States because Nebraskans understand the value proposition of public power — affordability, reliability, safety and community control.

Continue reading here.

Related

Your utility: 5 facts about public power, The Wire
American Public Power Association Stats and Facts

  • One in seven Americans are served by a public power utility. More than 2,000 communities – in 49 states and 5 U.S. territories – have a public power utility.
  • 10% of electricity generated in the U.S. is from public power facilities.
  • In 2017, more than 40% of this electricity was generated from non-carbon emitting sources.
  • Public power reduced its carbon emissions by 33% from 2005 to 2017.

News From Other States

Lithium Batteries

OPPD, Papillion Rose To Top Of Google’s Search

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District officially welcomes Google to its service territory. Today, the tech giant announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Papillion, Neb. “OPPD and its partners are experienced with large-scale, innovative and strategic solutions for major corporations,” said Tim Burke, OPPD President and Chief Executive Officer. “The pro-business climate here has made our service territory a choice destination.” Community partnerships have been crucial to efforts to attract new business and industry. Continue reading here.

The Wire 

Google unveils newest data center in Sarpy County corridor, by Jason Kuiper
Internet giant Google announced plans to build a new data center just outside of Papillion. Google made the announcement Friday at the project site, which is already under construction and located opposite of the Facebook data center near Nebraska Highway 50. Google valued their partnership with OPPD as one of the key reasons they chose to invest $600 million in the area.

“We’re thrilled to call Papillion and the Greater Omaha area one of our hometowns,” said Dan Harbeke, Google’s Regional Head of External Affairs. “At Google, our investment isn’t limited to our facilities: we are committed to being good neighbors and creating opportunities for the communities that we call home.”

What is Rate 261M?, OPPD Resource

Energy Efficiency
OPPD has launched a new energy efficiency section on their website.

Pilot eases costs for income-qualified customers

By Jodi Baker, The Wire

Financial difficulties come in many forms for many people. They could be the result of a long-term illness, an unexpected car repair, low wages, unemployment or other issues. OPPD is working to reach and help customers struggling with these issues through the Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Program Pilot. It’s open to households with an income of up to double the federal poverty level.

Customers taking part in the pilot would receive an energy efficiency kit from OPPD, as well as a home energy audit. If the audit shows a need for improvements, OPPD will provide up to $1,000 in upgrades. For more information on this or other OPPD programs, email OPPD’s Customer Care team at customerservice@oppd.com, or call them at (402) 536-4131. Read more here.

Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Energy Flickr File

Green Bellevue celebrates 10 years

By Brody Hilgencamp, Bellevue Leader / Omaha World-Herald

Sharon Rea has been president of Green Bellevue for eight months, and she uses an apt metaphor to describe the organization she has been tapped to lead and the people who founded it. “The seeds that they planted — literally — everything is carrying forward,” she said.

The rain gardens and recycling are big deals, leaders said, but the pièce de résistance would be the group’s next grand plan: a solar farm in the Bellevue area. The group hopes to work with Omaha Public Power District to make it happen. “I see us putting a lot of effort to that initiative in the next few months,” Rea said. “We’re determined.” Read more here.

Photo by Brody Hilgenkamp: Ruth Richter, left, Sharon Rea and Don Preister

Bellevue’s Proposed Landfill Solar Project – Previously Posted 

Given solar energy’s substantial price declines over the past several years since Bellevue’s landfill solar project was first proposed, it would be good to see an up-to-date analysis of the project’s levelized costs over a twenty-year power purchase agreement.

Bellevue/Sarpy County & Omaha Participating in The National Solar Tour

The National Solar Tour is the largest annual grassroots
renewable energy event in the nation.

The following local, second-annual solar tours are free and  open to the public – everyone is welcome to attend. Whether you are a solar owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – these events are for you.

  • National Solar Tour Event – Omaha, October 5, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.
  • National Solar Tour Event – Bellevue/Sarpy County, October 6, 2019, 11 am to 2 pm. RSVP HERE.

Local Solar Tour Sponsors: Green Bellevue, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraskans for Solar

Latest OPPD Initiative Targets Technology With Customers In Mind

OPPD News Release

Omaha Public Power District is mapping out its 10-year strategic plan. Five new strategic initiatives will lead the way, while maintaining a strong focus on OPPD’s mission of providing affordable, reliable, environmentally sensitive energy services. These initiatives take into account dynamic trends and issues that continue to shape the future of the electricity industry, including carbon emissions and climate change, emerging sources of competition, the future role of electricity markets, smart technology, evolving customer desires, and more.

At [Thursday’s] OPPD Board of Directors meeting, Kate Brown, vice president and chief information officer – Business Technology & Building Services, shared information on one of those key initiatives – technology platform. This involves developing a scalable and secure digital ecosystem that will enable OPPD to extend technology to our customers and employees in a way that we cannot do today. Continue reading here.

Photo: UNMC Solar Array. Credit: Morrissey Engineering