By Laura King-Homan, Cris Averett, Jason Kuiper, and Joe Comstock, The Wire
OPPD lives out its commitment to the communities it serves through actions rather than words. Since it came online in 2015, The Wire has pulled back the curtain to show customers what OPPD does. Check in here for the next six weeks to see how OPPD serves customers and how we work to keep the lights on. This daily effort is an extension of our transparency. It’s real. It’s not glamorous. But it’s important work. Read more here.
Photo: Work is continuing on the newest wind farm in OPPD’s generation portfolio.
About Laura King-Homan
Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.
About Cris Averett
Cris Averett is responsible for communications at OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station, as well as an array of communications projects across the district. Whenever feasible, Cris enjoys spending time with his wife and offspring, listening to music, tinkering with toys and playing a splendid game of cribbage.
About Jason Kuiper
Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He formerly worked as a staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.
About Joe Comstock
Joe Comstock is the creative coordinator for OPPD’s Corporate Marketing & Communications group. Skilled in all things creative, he can make the mundane – magical, the trite – tantalizing and the difficult – digestible.
Wind turbines will soon dot the fields northwest of Wayne, Neb. The turbines, totaling 71 in all, will make up the Sholes Wind Energy Center. The facility will generate 160 MW of renewable electricity for OPPD customers beginning in 2019. OPPD has entered a 20-year partnership with NextEra Energy Resources, who will own and manage the site. On Nov. 1, representatives from the utility got a peek at the progress made since the groundbreaking ceremony in July. Read more here.
NextEra Photo of Butler Ridge Wind Energy Center wind turbines on a farm in Dodge County, Wisconsin.
For the second year in a row, Site Selectionnamed OPPD one of 2018’s “Top Utilities in Economic Development”. . . Significant projects that OPPD landed include Facebook (100-plus jobs, $1.2 billion-plus investment), Veramaris (20 jobs, $200 million-plus investment) and Novozymes (10 jobs, $215 million-plus investment). Other efforts highlighted by Site Selection include the creation of OPPD’s rate 261M, the Rattlesnake Creek Wind project and the Integrate Energy Marketplace strategic initiative, which includes an enhanced economic development strategy.
Image Credit: Facebook
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
OPPD’s The Wire Series: How Does That Work?
Data Centers, by Jason Kuiper The Omaha metro area has a number of data centers, including Yahoo, Travelers, Cabela’s, Verizon and First Data, and the newest, a Facebook data center in Sarpy County. There are now more than 20 data centers that call the Omaha metro area home. Read the entire blog post and others in the series here.
Muth making a difference at OPPD and for environment, The Wire A self-professed biologist in an engineer’s world, Emily Muth is pursuing her passions while serving in the energy industry. Muth, Environmental Affairs administrator, is the lead environmental auditor for OPPD. In her role, she travels around the district to power plants and work sites to ensure environmental compliance with air and water quality and waste management. She focuses on ensuring requirements are met and looking for ways to improve processes. Muth is most proud of her involvement with the Prairie in Progress program at OPPD, a recent effort where some OPPD grounds are being restored to prairie land to help pollinators thrive, particularly the monarch butterfly.
The license plates were the first sign that this car show was a bit different. “4GET OIL” “GAS LOL” and “LOVE EV2”. An electric car — and bicycle — show on the campus of Creighton University on Sunday drew a steady flow of viewers. For the most part, it seemed like any other car show: Proud owners chatting with admiring, even envious spectators. Continue readinghere.
OMAHA, Neb. (FOX42KPTM — Dead silence almost makes it hard to believe Ken Deffenbacher’s car is even on. “The maintenance is very low,” he said, “virtually non-existent.” That’s just one of the many reasons why Deffenbacher says he got the all-electric Chevy Bolt. He had his $37,000 car on display at Creighton Sunday. It was all part of the fifth annual National Drive Electric week. Read morehere.
Fox 42 KPTM Photo: Nebraskans for Solar board member Ken Deffenbacher and KPTM reporter Steve Saunders
Top Photo: Nebraskans for Solar Board member Jared Friesen shown charging his new Nissan LEAF with the solar generators NFS was able to purchase and lend to schools and other nonprofit groups for public events–thanks to a grant from the Omaha Venture Group.
Credit: David Corbin, Nebraskans for Solar Board member and Nebraska Sierra Club Executive Committee Chair
Clickhereto view all of David’s photos of the event. The National Drive Electric Week-Omaha event at Creighton University was sponsored by Nebraska Sierra Club and co-sponsored by Nebraskans for Solar and OPPD. National sponsors – Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association and Nissan LEAF.
Solar energy is a hot topic. It seems you can’t escape the topic in the news and on social media. OPPD is also taking steps to pursue a community solar project of its own. But what does “solar” mean? Here are some facts and history of solar energy from the U.S. Department of Energy. Continue here.
Let’s Be Clear: Solar Energy Benefits Everyone, by Sean Gallagher, Solar Energy Industries Association Blog. Gallagher focuses on rooftop solar, but the same benefits apply to community and utility-scale solar, as well, several of which are excerpted, below, from his article:
Solar on businesses, government buildings and schools, [or aggregated into a community-solar program] can save utilities and consumers money on other distribution infrastructure costs. For example, expensive utility transformers can get overloaded on hot summer days when people are using more energy to cool their homes. Solar can reduce strain on the system on these days, which extends the life of utility equipment and creates savings for everyone.
Additional widely-recognized benefits of solar: avoided fuel hedging costs created by volatile fossil fuels like natural gas, avoided electricity losses from power plants that are located far away from cities, and avoiding the need to build new expensive natural gas plants.
Streetlights across the OPPD service territory will get a facelift over the next five years. And their new look will mean brighter, longer-lasting fixtures, better efficiency, and monetary savings for the communities they serve . . . OPPD owns the majority of streetlights in its service territory. The utility has 298 streetlight customers ranging from small towns to the Nebraska Department of Transportation . . . A total of 98,744 streetlights cover the roads and highways of the service territory. By converting the streetlights to LED fixtures, the municipalities that contract with OPPD would see a 25-percent reduction in their overall streetlight costs. This is why: