Tag Archives: OPPD Board of Directors

OPPD Maintains Strong Credit Rating, Helping Utility Keep Rates Low For Customer-Owners In Challenging Economy

OPPD News Release 

Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s latest ratings give OPPD an Aa2 and AA, respectively. These ratings are among the highest ratings a public power utility can receive. OPPD’s solid financial position has allowed it to access credit markets during the current market downturn, while lower rated entities have had limited access . . . The board received an update on OPPD’s Pathways to Decarbonization strategic initiative. A long-term study is underway to identify pathways to improve our environmental impact while maintaining reliability, resiliency and affordability. During its committee meetings this week, the board received an update on OPPD’s Power with Purpose (PwP) plan, approved in November 2019. The plan includes the addition of between 400 and 600 megawatts of accredited utility-scale solar generation, as well as the addition of modernized natural gas backup generation assets. Read the entire news release here.

For more information, click here.
OPPD invites customer-owners to submit feedback at OPPD Listens.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

THE HEROES ACT

House Democrats unveil $3 trillion COVID-19 response proposal, American Public Power Association. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law in late March by President Trump included $900 million for LIHEAP to help low-income households pay their utility bills during the crisis. But the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (NEADA) on April 6 said that due to the depth of the crisis, “this funding only scratches the surface of what families will need to stay afloat.” 

CLEAN ENERGY FORWARD INITIATIVE

Republicans Are Leading On Clean Energy, Newsweek
Opinion contributed by Heather Reams, the executive director of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions, a non-profit organization that recently launched Clean Energy Forward to engage Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge.

TRANSITION PATHWAY INITIATIVE

Investor group: No European oil and gas major has a credible net zero plan, GreenBiz
That is the conclusion of a new analysis from the influential Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), backed by investors representing $19 trillion of assets worldwide.

TRI-STATE

SOLAR PLUS STORAGE

GAF SOLAR ROOF

GAF Energy Launches New Flex Option for Roof-Integrated Solar System, Solar Industry Magazine

GAF Energy, a provider of roof-integrated solar solutions in North America, has launched their “Flex” option for use with the company’s redesigned Decotech 2.0 roof-integrated solar product. Flex maintains the efficiency of standard system sizing, while also introducing new configuration choices for homeowners.

  • Homeowners interested in learning more about the GAF solar roof, click here.
  • Roofing contractors interested in installing GAF Energy products, click here.

THIN-FILM SOLAR MODULES

A new player appears in American thin-film cadmium telluride solar module manufacturing, PV Magazine. Toledo Solar is trying to distinguish itself from First Solar’s cadmium telluride dominance by operating in the residential and commercial markets, markets which have been historically unkind to the technology.

GREENTECH MEDIA’S INTERCHANGE

Mapping the Post-COVID Future for Electric Cars, Behavior Change and Energy Demand, Greentech Media. This week on The Interchange, we talk with futurist Ramez Naam about a wide range of scenarios for energy.

MORE ON MICHAEL MOORE’S CONTROVERSIAL DOCUMENTARY

What Michael Moore’s New Climate Documentary Gets Wrong About Renewables, Forbes

Clean energy a common concern for Nebraska utility board candidates

By Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Four of 11 seats on the Nebraska Public Power District board will be decided by voters in the November general election.

Several candidates running to fill seats on the board of Nebraska’s largest utility have indicated they want to speed the company’s transition from coal to renewable power. If they’re elected in November, the Nebraska Public Power District would be the second large public utility in the state run by a board trending strongly toward more support for renewable energy. The Omaha Public Power District has already adopted a more aggressive stance toward clean energy subsequent to the election of clean energy advocates in the last couple elections, especially last November. Continue reading here.

Photo by Rich / Flickr / Creative Commons: Wind turbines near Elgin, Nebraska

MORE NPPD NEWS

Judge orders injunction preventing NPPD from ending power contracts with 3 wind farms, Hastings Tribune. This article originally ran on journalstar.com.

OPPD Expands Customer Support Measures

OPPD News Release, April 16, 2020

Senior management recently approved a series of short-term Customer First Solutions, shared with the OPPD Board of Directors during their virtual committee meetings Tuesday. OPPD leadership recommended waiving late payment charges for all customers until 30 days after the expiration of the last COVID-19 directed health measures of any of the 13 counties within OPPD’s service territory. In today’s monthly meeting, held via video conference, the board voted to approve waiving late charges for that time frame.

OPPD is also extending the time frame for our disconnection moratorium until 30 days after the expiration of the last directed health measures of any of the 13 counties within OPPD’s service territory. We had previously announced suspension of disconnections for non-payment through April 30. The extension will help our customers struggling with lost wages and other impacts related to COVID-19.

We urge customers to reach out to us to make payment arrangements if they need assistance. Our customer care team can be reached by calling 402-536-4131 in the Omaha metropolitan area or toll-free at 1-877-536-4131 outside of Omaha. We will also work to connect our customers with community resources, as warranted. And OPPD’s Energy Assistance Program eligibility requirements have temporarily been adjusted to be available without being income qualified.

Click here to read the entire news release, which includes information on OPPD’s plan to add between 400 and 600 megawatts of utility-scale solar to its generation mix.

More information is available here on OPPD’s April board and committee meetings.

Nebraska LIHEAP Program

Previously Published
OPPD Laying The Groundwork For A Bright Energy Future, OPPD News Release
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.”

NPPD NEWS RELEASE 

Dia named general manager at Cooper Nuclear Station
Columbus, Neb. – Khalil Dia, a 24-year employee at Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, has been named General Manager of Plant Operations (GMPO) effective May 1, replacing Joe Sullivan who has been named General Manager at Entergy’s Arkansas One Nuclear Power Station.

NEW APPA E-BOOK

Report: A diverse generating mix offers more paths to decarbonization, American Public Power Association

Smart Decarbonization: Public Power’s Case for Generating Diversity and Affordability, a new eBook from the American Public Power Association, compiles research from a variety of industry sources that show potential infrastructure needs, costs, and timelines to reach different levels of emissions reductions or percentages of zero-emitting generation. The eBook was produced as part of APPA’s Moving Public Power Forward strategic initiative to help public power utilities prepare for major changes to the electric utility industry.

OPPD Board Clears The Way For State’s Largest Solar Presence, With Natural Gas Backup

OPPD News Release

Today, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors voted to add between 400 and 600 megawatts of utility-scale solar capacity to OPPD’s energy portfolio. It will be the largest solar presence in the state of Nebraska and one of the largest in the region. The project, proposed by senior management at last month’s board meeting, also includes natural gas backup for the solar generation, to support accreditation and resiliency requirements, as well as the modernization of some of OPPD’s other natural gas assets. As the grid continues to evolve, OPPD may also look at adding voltage-support devices, which help maintain a consistent quality of electricity. The new natural gas assets are anticipated to run only when needed in order to serve OPPD’s peaking and grid support needs. Continue reading here.

The Wire News Story

OPPD takes next step towards adding state’s largest utility-scale solar presence, by Jason Kuiper

More Nebraska News

Bluestem offers tour of Fairmont wind farm, Aurora News Register 

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 Focused On Continued Investment In Our Communities

Omaha Public Power District News Release
February 14, 2019

Omaha Public Power District is committed to investing in the communities it serves. Furthering that effort, today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved a labor contract for streetlight
conversion work within its service territory to replace current technology with light emitting
diode (LED) technology.

This is part of the district’s five-year plan, officially beginning next month, to replace nearly 100,000 existing high-pressure sodium fixtures within its service territory. To date, OPPD has
converted approximately 400 burned out streetlights to LED. The district is utilizing a contractor alongside OPPD employees due to the volume and time frame of work taking place.
Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
NDEQ Co-hosting Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference on March 25, NPPD News Release

NEWS FROM OTHER CITIES & STATES

The nuclear city goes 100% renewable, PV Magazine
Yesterday Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled the city’s
Resilient Chicago plan, which in action 38 is a commitment to
“transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy in buildings community-wide by 2035”. 

TRI-STATE NEWS

For the first time ever, three women are serving on OPPD’s board

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

Five of electric utility’s eight senior managers also are women.

Returning Omaha Public Power District Chairwoman Anne McGuire has served on the OPPD board since 1997. In more than two decades, she has never served beside another woman. That changed last month with the arrival of new OPPD board members Amanda Bogner of
Omaha, who owns a small business, and Janece Molhoff of Ashland, Nebraska, who retired as a colonel in the Army Reserve. They made January’s board meeting “historic,” McGuire said.
Read more here.

OPPD fee hikes hurt low-income, low energy users and conservationists, OWH analysis confirms

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald
OPPD Infographic 

Conservationist Craig Moody, who joined the OPPD board after the vote on fee and rate changes, says he is concerned that OPPD is encouraging people to use more power instead of less, which he says is wrong. He said he would like OPPD to explore a tiered fee structure, one similar to what the Lincoln Electric System uses. Lincoln charges different fixed fees for customers based on how much power they use.

[Commenting on OPPD’s monthly fixed fee, which starting this month amounts to $360 per year, newly-elected board member Eric Williams stated]: “I think that all five of the new board members were pretty open during our campaigns that the high fixed fee structure is something that’s hurting a lot of people. We would like to take another look at it.” One option, he said, may be revisiting OPPD’s Strategic Directive 2 on rates this spring, to see whether the goal of being affordable is being met. Read the entire article here.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED INFORMATION

OPPD’S  justification for the fixed fee increase is included in the following article by Aaron Sanderford: OPPD board approves $1.18 billion budget
 [Monthly fixed fees] will increase to $30 a month in 2019, up from $10.25 in 2015. Utility officials have said the shift is needed as appliances and devices become more efficient and as more people start generating power at home, including by using solar panels.

In his latest article, Aaron Sanderford states that the fixed fee harms the poor and elders as well as conservationists, including “those who generate their own power.” The annual fixed fee, now $360, does create a barrier for rooftop solar development, as the amount itself, on top of the cost of a solar system, will put the option out of range for many household budgets. As OPPD also states, it increases the payback period for a solar system:

OPPD’s Rate Restructuring FAQs posted on the utility’s website:
FAQ #9:  I am considering installing solar panels and/or wind generation at my home. How would this affect me?
Answer: Because the fixed portion of the bill is increasing, customers who wish to install solar or wind to meet part of their energy needs would see an increase in the payback period associated with recovering their investment.

Those who have installed solar know that the PV systems on their rooftops benefit not only their own households and their neighbors’, but also OPPD in a number of widely-recognized ways. Six benefits of rooftop solar are excerpted HERE from the following source: Let’s Be Clear: Solar Energy Benefits Everyone, Solar Energy Industries Association

Many utilities across the nation have no fixed monthly fees, or they have rolled them back or are in the process of doing so:

Are regulators starting to rethink fixed charges?, Utility Dive
[In 2017], regulators only approved 6 out of 84 proposals for higher customer charges, suggesting regulators might be looking for “something better,” Proudlove told Utility Dive. Autumn Proudlove is senior manager of policy research at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC).

OPPD’s board set to take an environmental tilt. What will it mean for electricity costs?

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The costs of OPPD going further, faster on renewables and carbon are not yet clear. OPPD officials have said they had not yet determined how much more, if any, customers are paying for electricity because of the renewable energy the utility has already added to the mix . . . People should not draw a direct correlation between renewables and rising rates, said Javier Fernandez, the district’s chief financial officer . . . If the next OPPD board aims the utility at 100 percent renewables or zero carbon, [Russ Baker, director of OPPD’s environmental and regulatory affairs] said OPPD management will work with them to mull what that would look like, what it might cost and how technology would need to change. Read more here.

Image Credit: Facebook, one of a growing number of corporations committed to sourcing 100% of their energy from renewables and encouraging their suppliers to do so, as well. Facebook’s goal is to reach that level by 2020. RE100

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

REPORTS OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

  • Lazard’s recently-released Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis reports that solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind costs have dropped an astounding 88% and 69% since 2009, respectively.
  • Sierra Club’s 2018 Case Study Report: Ten cities that have made commitments to be powered entirely with clean energy. Download the Case Studies 2018 Report (PDF} in English or Spanish.
  • Free SEPA Research: Non-Wires Alternatives: Case Studies from Leading U.S. Projects
    In today’s electricity market, non-wires alternatives are capturing public attention and inspiring decision makers to explore the grid benefits and potential cost savings resulting from integrating new distributed technologies in place of new infrastructure upgrades.

As criticism mounts to pull plug on plan, OPPD’s rate restructuring in flux

By Cody Winchester, Omaha World-Herald

Tim Burke
Under pressure to reject a rate restructuring that would increase bills for customers who use less electricity, Omaha Public Power District officials will modify their plan in an attempt to address concerns. The OPPD board is set to vote Dec. 17 on a proposal to raise the flat monthly service fee for the district’s 355,000 residential and small commercial customers while lowering the rate charged for actual use. Read more here.

Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) will hold a public meeting tomorrow night that will include a panel of OTOC and OPPD representatives, including OPPD President, Tim Burke and Board President, Anne McGuire. Details are available here.

Download OTOC Summary of Rate Restructuring (PDF)

Click here to post your comments on OPPD Listens

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Omaha World-Herald: OPPD rate proposal would mean higher bills for the poor, critics say
Senators Letter to OPPD President Tim Burke and the Board of Directors
Utility Dive: Omaha public utility’s proposal to increase fixed charges draws opposition