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Home > About Us > News/Events

2012 News Releases

 

December 2012

OPPD Plan for Renewables Ahead of the Game - 12/14/12
OPPD Board Approves 2013 Utility Budget - 12/13/12
 

November 2012

OPPD Presents 2013 Corporate Operating Plan to Board - 11/15/12
OPPD Crews Assisting with Restoration Efforts Following Superstorm Sandy - 11/02/12
Future of Electric Power Topic of Final 2012 Speakers Series - 11/02/12
 

October 2012

OPPD Reaches 154 Megawatts of Wind Generation with Broken Bow Addition - 10/16/12
OPPD Board Meeting Recapped - 10/11/12
 

September 2012

Fort Calhoun Station Costs to be spread over Ten Years - 09/20/12
Energy Efficiency is Topic in OPPD 2012 Speakers Series - 09/05/12
 

August 2012

OPPD Air Conditioning Management Program Update - 08/24/12
Fort Calhoun Station to Sound Siren System - 08/20/12
OPPD to Tap Capabilities and Expertise of Exelon, Nation’s Largest Nuclear Power Producer - 08/16/12
OPPD August Board Meeting will be Thursday Night in Blair - 08/15/12

July 2012

OPPD Sets 2012 Speakers Series - 07/26/12
OPPD Suggests Customers Conserve Electricity - 07/17/12
Transmission Lines Project Approved for New Sarpy County Stubstation - 07/12/12
OPPD Again Warns Customers to be Wary of Scam Artists - 07/12/12
Number 12 a Mark of Consistency and Sound Fundamentals - 07/11/12

June 2012

OPPD Society of Engineers Names Tom Burton "Engineer of the Year" - 06/28/12
OPPD Project to Maintain Reliability and Serve Future Growth - 06/21/12

May 2012

Maintenance and Project Service Contract to Benefit all OPPD Generating Units - 05/17/12

April 2012

OPPD Tree Efforts Earns National Honors - 04/27/12
OPPD Awards 23 Tree Grants to Community Groups - 04/27/12
OPPD Presents Incentive Check to General Services Administration for Energy Savings - 04/26/12
Fort Calhoun Station Training Program Reaffirmed - 04/20/12
OPPD Ranks First in Business Customer Satisfaction - 04/12/12
OPPD In-Lieu-of Tax Payments Exceed $27 Million - 04/2/12

March 2012

OPPD plant to provide renewable energy five more years - 03/15/12
OPPD Air Conditioning Management Program Offered - 03/14/12
OPPD Reintroduces Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program - 03/02/12

February 2012

OPPD Sustainability Program Continues to Gain Momentum - 02/16/12
OPPD Tree Promotion Program Accepting Applications - 02/09/12

January 2012

OPPD Board Elects New Officers for 2012 - 01/12/12

OPPD Plan for Renewables Ahead of the Game

December 14, 2012

Yesterday, Omaha Public Power District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved OPPD’s senior management to move forward with entering into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Prairie Breeze Wind Energy, LCC. The agreement would allow OPPD to purchase 200 megawatts (MW) of wind-generated energy from Prairie Breeze Wind Farm scheduled to be operational near Elgin, Neb., west of Norfolk by January 2014.

OPPD set a goal of having 10 percent of the electricity it sells to retail customers, approximately 400 MW, coming from renewable energy by 2020. This new agreement will help OPPD reach its goal six years early.

“OPPD’s mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive services to our customers,” said W. Gary Gates, OPPD’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We know how important it is to our stakeholders, and we are constantly evaluating opportunities where it makes good sense to expand our renewable energy portfolio at the pace of value for our customer-owners.”

OPPD is currently involved with eight wind projects for a total of 212 MW. These projects include Valley, 1 MW; Ainsworth, 10 MW; Elkhorn Ridge, 25 MW; Flatwater, 60 MW; Petersburg, 40 MW; Crofton Hills, 13 MW; Broken I, 18 MW; and Broken Bow II, 45 MW. Prairie Breeze would provide an additional 200 MW, giving OPPD a total of 412 MW.

The project is contingent on the approval from the Nebraska Power Review Board and if the federal Production Tax Credits are extended.

OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Board Approves 2013 Utility Budget

December 13, 2012

The OPPD Board of Directors approved the utility’s 2013 Corporate Operating Plan today, which includes a 6.9 percent retail rate increase.

In presenting the 2013 budget, the OPPD senior team outlined several key challenges and drivers which necessitated the need for the increase. Those include the restart and recovery of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant, the reduction of sales of electricity to other utilities and the need to maintain the performance and reliability of the utility’s $4.5 billion in assets.

Even with the increase, OPPD’s rates remain below the regional and national averages. In fact, OPPD’s rates have not increased at the pace of inflation over the last 30 years. Additionally, the utility’s reliability ranking is among the highest in the industry. Last year, during the extensive heat wave, OPPD was able to meet the demands of its customers without brownouts or blackouts experienced by others around the country.

"We do understand how this impacts our customers," said OPPD President and CEO Gary Gates. "We are committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to keep these adjustments as low as we possibly can. We spread out the recovery cost of Fort Calhoun Station, as an example, to keep the impact of those challenges manageable for customers today and tomorrow since all will benefit from the power produced from the plant."

The average residential customer will see a $7.31 monthly increase, depending on usage. Overall, the 2013 budget calls for $1.226 million for operational costs. The utility did reduce the 2013 budget by $103 million by using funds from its savings account, selling excess energy, and spreading the cost to recover Fort Calhoun over 10 years.

In other action, the board:

…Authorized management to enter into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Prairie Breeze Wind Energy, LLC, to purchase 200 megawatts of wind from their wind farm near Elgin, Neb., just west of Norfolk. OPPD would start receiving 200 megawatts of output by January 1, 2014. This additional generation means OPPD will reach its goal of having 10 percent of its energy come from renewable resources. The original goal was to make that happen in 2020, so the utility is six years early in meeting that goal.

…Approved a revision to the 2012 budget to allow for unforeseen increased expenditures in 2012. These increases were already considered when preparing the 2013 budget.

…Approved the 2012 labor contract agreements with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge No. 31 and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 1483.

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OPPD Presents 2013 Corporate Operating Plan to Board

November 15, 2012

OPPD’s senior management presented its 2013 corporate operating plan to its board of directors today. The plan outlines how the utility successfully managed the challenges of 2012, including flood recovery and extreme summer heat that challenged staff and infrastructure and led to a record use of electricity.

Additionally, the plan details the challenges the district will face in 2013, some of which include restart of its nuclear power plant and compliance with nuclear regulation, continued investment in its electric power systems, diminished off-system sales and full integration into the Southwest Power Pool, which is scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2014.

As a result, the 2013 plan calls for a 6.9 percent retail rate increase. What this means for the average residential customer is approximately a $7.30 monthly increase on their electric bills, depending on usage. Even with the proposed increase, OPPD rates continue to be at more than 18 percent below the national average.

In presenting the plan, OPPD cited the internal efforts to keep the increase as low as possible. Those efforts include amortizing the cost of the restart of Fort Calhoun over 10 years; however, the utility does expect to incur lower costs at Fort Calhoun Station beginning in 2014. The utility also cited an increased internal focus to operate as efficiently as possible and transferring money from its debt retirement account, which could be compared to a home savings account. That money, however, will be replaced in a timely manner and does not affect OPPD’s overall financial strength.

"We understand the difficulty that rate adjustments can have on all of our customers, from individual families to large industrial customers," said OPPD President and CEO Gary Gates. "Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy; you have our commitment that the 2013 Corporate Operating Plan does this in the most efficient manner possible."

In other action, the board approved:

...the 2013 Board meeting schedule. Once again, the board will hold one of its regular monthly meetings next year during the evening to allow those to attend who normally don’t have the opportunity.

...repair of a mobile substation transformer that is transported on a trailer and allows for rapid repair of certain types of power outages.

...repair of an engine and power turbine on one of the units at Sarpy County Station. The turbine quit operating and only the original equipment manufacturer can perform the necessary repairs.

...replacement of modules and seals at Nebraska City Station that will ensure continued emission compliance.

...rescinding an outdated resolution that was made in 1999 that outlines the process the District takes to approve certain policies. A new district program is replacing the previous process.

...a three-year contract for air preheater cleaning at the North Omaha and Nebraska City Stations.

...management to negotiate and enter into a contract for the repair of failed coils on Unit 5 at North Omaha Power Station.

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OPPD Crews Assisting with Restoration Efforts Following Superstorm Sandy

November 2, 2012

To help with the relief effort in the East, Omaha Public Power District has sent seven workers to help restore power to that part of the country left without electricity due to the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.

On Thursday, six OPPD cable splicers and one supervisor flew to New York to assist Con Edison in restoring their Downtown Electrical Network System. Jerry Benedict, Omaha Center field supervisor, will be leading the team of OPPD splicers.

Millions of customers were left without power due to the massive flooding, high winds, heavy snow and fires that followed in the wake of Sandy, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded to strike the East coast. Late Wednesday, Con Ed said it could take as long as four days to restore power in Manhattan and as long as a week in the outer boroughs of New York.

Providing mutual aid to utility companies in times of disaster is a practice that OPPD regularly demonstrates. OPPD crews also provided mutual assistance following Hurricane Katrina.

OPPD expects that the crews will remain in New York to support Con Ed’s restoration effort for one to two weeks.

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Future of Electric Power Topic of Final 2012 Speakers Series

November 2, 2012

What does the future hold in store for electricity power?

OPPD experts will explore that topic at the final of four speakers’ series events on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Florence Branch Library, 2920 Bondesson St. OPPD produces energy using a mix of fuel that includes coal, nuclear, wind power, solar power, landfill gas and more. That mix continues to change. Hear what our experts have to say about what the future of electricity may look like.

Omaha Public Power District, in collaboration with Omaha Public Library and the Neighborhood Center, created the speakers series to share its expertise on a number of energy-related topics.

Community response to the sessions has been very positive, with strong attendance and good discussions. Previous sessions covered the benefits of public power, energy efficiency and the basics of electricity.

As with the earlier sessions, the final Speakers Series event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served, and the first 50 attendees will receive a weatherization kit, made possible thanks to a grant from the Green Neighborhood Council's Green Program.

OPPD serves 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Reaches 154 Megawatts of Wind Generation with Broken Bow Addition

October 16, 2012

Today’s dedication of the Broken Bow Wind Farm means that OPPD is adding 18 megawatts (MW) of wind to its generation mix, which now totals 154.16 MWs of wind generation. The additional renewable generation brings OPPD to 5.1 percent of its retail energy from renewable resources. OPPD’s commitment is to get that number to 10 percent by 2020.

"We are steadily growing greener, and we are excited as our renewable energy and sustainability program continues to gain momentum," said Gary Gates, OPPD President and Chief Executive Officer.

Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is attending the 3 p.m. dedication ceremony.

Edison Mission Energy, the sixth largest developer of wind energy projects in the United States, owns and operates the $145 million, 80-megawatt-capacity Broken Bow Wind Farm in central Nebraska. The farm consists of 50 turbines scattered on approximately 14,000 acres east and northeast of Broken Bow.

OPPD is among five entities that have purchase agreements for the output. In addition to OPPD’s 18 MW, Nebraska Public Power District is purchasing 47 MW; Lincoln Electric System, 10 MW; Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, 4 MW; and the city of Grand Island, 1 MW.

OPPD, one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serves more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Board Meeting Recapped

October 11, 2012

At its monthly meeting today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved using any insurance recovery from its Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited (NEIL) policy relating to the Fort Calhoun Station outage to adjust the Fuel and Purchased Power Adjustment (FPPA) formula rate. The proceeds would be used to reduce future rates paid by customers for the FPPA

The insurance policy was acquired to mitigate the financial impact of qualifying outages at Fort Calhoun Station, including additional purchased power expenses. Use of the insurance proceeds to reduce the FPPA will offset the impact of the extended outage.

In other action, the board authorized management to take the necessary actions to repair the piping system underneath the station's turbine building. The weakened drain pipe was not a result of flooding last year but was discovered during post-flood inspections. Broken, cracked and loose joints have resulted in groundwater leaking below the concrete slab of the turbine building basement, creating negatively affected soil. Stopping expansion of the affected soil is a flood-recovery commitment to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is necessary prior to restart of the station.

The board authorized senior management to negotiate and enter into a contract for the design, purchase, fabrication and installation of Cured-in-Place Piping (CIPP) as a permanent solution. CIPP is a method using a jointless, seamless, pipe-within-a-pipe to repair existing pipelines.

In other action, the board:
    … authorized purchase of a spare transformer at the cost of $592,043 from CG Power of Washington, Missouri. The equipment is needed to maintain system reliability.
    … received the October President's Report.

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Fort Calhoun Station Costs to be spread over Ten Years

September 20, 2012

The OPPD Board of Directors has approved a plan that would allow the District to amortize over a 10-year period the operations and maintenance costs associated with returning Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station to full service. The plan is expected to level out the impact of recovery costs to OPPD customers while ensuring current and future customers share in the costs and benefits of enhanced operations at the plant.

Recovery costs include operation and maintenance expenses for the planning, execution and monitoring of restart and recovery activities that began in 2012 until the plant exits Column 4 of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Reactor Oversight Process Action Matrix. Fort Calhoun Station has been offline since April 2011. OPPD has experienced significant, unplanned recovery costs since then to resolve performance and operational concerns identified by the District and federal regulators.

Recovery operation and maintenance costs are projected to be $113 million for 2012 and $30 million for 2013, respectively, and 2012 capital is projected at $21million. The expenditures and associated operational enhancements are expected to benefit Fort Calhoun Station during future years by ensuring the plant will continue to operate safely.

"The performance and operational benefits of the expenditures extend far beyond restart which is one of the reasons we can amortize these expenses over 10 years," said Edward Easterlin, OPPD Chief Financial Officer.

At its September monthly meeting, the board approved the use of a regulatory accounting treatment to level the impact of the various costs by amortizing them commencing with the station’s return to service. The goal currently is for Fort Calhoun Station to "heat up" the plant by December 1, which means closing the reactor vessel but no nuclear reaction.

Meanwhile, the board also approved the appointment of Louis Cortopassi to the position of Chief Nuclear Officer for Fort Calhoun Station in addition to his position as Site Vice President. Mr. Cortopassi has served as Site Vice President since August 27 under the operating services agreement between OPPD and Exelon. The District hired Exelon last month to manage Fort Calhoun Station’s nuclear operations for the duration of the station’s operating license.

In other action, the board also:

    … authorized management to negotiate a contract to modify containment penetration feed-through assemblies at Fort Calhoun Station.

    … authorized awarding a contract to CERAM Environmental, Inc. of Overland Park, Kansas, in the amount of $2,745,200 to replace two layers of catalyst at Nebraska City Station Unit 2.

    … approved a compensation adjustment for Chief Financial Officer Edward E. Easterlin.

    … received the September President’s report.

    … Also, at the meeting OPPD Engineer Tevi Lawson became the fifth recipient of the President’s Award for extraordinary accomplishments after rescuing four individuals from a burning home in July.

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Energy Efficiency is Topic in OPPD 2012 Speakers Series

September 5, 2012

The second in a series of four speakers’ events is set for Tuesday, Sept. 11, at Abrahams Branch library, 5111 N. 90th St. in Omaha.

Omaha Public Power District created the speakers series in collaboration with Omaha Public Library and the Neighborhood Center to share its expertise on a number of energy-related topics. This session will discuss energy efficiency and the many low-cost solutions to help customers save money on their utility bills.

The first 50 attendees will receive a weatherization kit, made possible thanks to a grant from the Green Neighborhood Council's Green Program.

All sessions are being held at Omaha Public Library branch locations as noted below, and they are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at each session.

Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5:30-7 p.m., Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.
Learn how to improve the efficiency of your home – from simple, low-cost tips to product solutions.

Electricity 101
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 5:30-7 p.m., Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane
Where does electricity come from? How is it made? What is a kilowatt, and how many does it take to operate household items? Learn how OPPD generates electricity and delivers it to more than 784,500 people every single day.

The Future of Electric Power
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.
OPPD produces energy using a mix of fuel that includes coal, nuclear, wind power, solar power, landfill gas and more. That mix continues to change. Hear what our experts have to say about what the future of electricity may look like.

OPPD serves customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Air Conditioning Management Program Update

August 24, 2012

Omaha Public Power District’s Air Conditioning Management Program has helped reduce the need for electricity when demand for it is at its highest, like during this summer’s heat wave. And, the success of the program has prompted the utility to increase its participant goal.

OPPD initially planned to enroll 10,000 customers by the end of 2012. That would have led to 15 megawatt of reduced load, or about the amount of energy needed to run two small industrial facilities. More than 7,500 customers have signed up to participate in the program so far, and OPPD would like to add 4,000 more by the end of the year. Reaching the 11,500 number would mean 17.2 megawatts of peak reduction when the utility needed it on high-demand days. That reduction would be similar to an industrial plant or nearly three hospitals.

Why is OPPD Offering the Program?

OPPD has a goal of reducing peak demand by 50-megawatts (MW) by the end of 2012, and the AC Management Program is expected to contribute about one-third of that goal.

By strategically managing the participants’ air conditioners, the AC Management Program will reduce the demand for electricity at times when demand is at its highest. Reducing this peak demand helps delay the need for a new power plant and the cost of building it. Deferring this cost will help OPPD keep rates low.

How Does the Program Work?

  • An OPPD electrical contractor installs an outdoor device near the participant’s air conditioning unit or heat pump. The device and installation are free and no appointments are necessary.
  • On some summer days when demand for electricity is at its highest, the device will run the AC or heat pump in 15-minute intervals (on for 15, off for 15), for 2.5 hours between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. AC Management will not cause increased wear-and-tear to the cooling system.
  • AC Management will occur a maximum of 12 days per year. However, depending on summer weather patterns, the device may never be activated. AC Management will never occur on weekends or holidays, and participants can opt-out of the program two days per year with 24-hours’ notice.
  • During a management event, the cooling system’s blower fan will continue to circulate air throughout the home. A typical home may experience a 1- to 3-degree increase in temperature during a management event.
  • Customers who sign up will receive a $30 credit on their bill after the AC Management device has been installed, and customers will receive an additional $20 for each year of participation.
  • To sign up, visit oppd.com/acmgmt, or call OPPD at 402-536-4131 or 1-877-536-4131 outside the metro.

OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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Fort Calhoun Station to Sound Siren System

August 20, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District will test the siren alert system around the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

The tests include all radio-controlled sirens located within a 10-mile radius of Fort Calhoun Station. Fort Calhoun Station is located about 19 miles north of Omaha and just outside of Blair, Neb. Because this is only a test, no action by the public is required. The sirens will sound for a full three minutes sometime between 9 and 11 a.m.

The siren system is designed to alert those who live or work within 10 miles of Fort Calhoun Station in the unlikely event of a serious accident at the station. The test is conducted once a year to ensure the system is working properly. If an event were to occur, the sirens would sound to signal people to tune to radio station KFAB, 1110 on the AM dial for official information and instructions. KFAB serves as the primary source of information from Nebraska and Iowa authorities in this area.

Anyone noticing a siren malfunction during the test is asked to call (402) 636-2000 or contact Omaha Public Power District, 444 S. 16th St. Mall, Omaha, NE 68102-2247.

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August 16, 2012

OPPD to Tap Capabilities and Expertise of Exelon, Nation’s Largest Nuclear Power Producer

August 16, 2012

Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) officials today announced an operating services agreement with Exelon Generation, LLC to manage Fort Calhoun Station’s nuclear operations for up to the duration of its operating license.

Exelon Nuclear Partners, a division of Exelon Generation, has been assisting with the recovery of the plant since January 2012. This agreement will increase Exelon’s involvement in the management of the plant.

"While we have made significant progress in our recovery efforts, this operating agreement will help take Fort Calhoun Station to the next level," said W. Gary Gates, president and chief executive officer of OPPD. "By applying the Exelon Nuclear Management Model and the proven best practices from a world-class nuclear fleet like Exelon, we can ensure the sustainability and productivity of Fort Calhoun for the future."

Omaha Public Power District will remain the owner and licensed operator of the plant, while Exelon will provide the day-to-day operations management of the plant. The Exelon Nuclear Management Model will be used to improve and sustain performance at Fort Calhoun Station. The plant staff will be a blended team of OPPD and Exelon employees.

Gates added, "This arrangement is consistent with other business models being used for single-unit nuclear utilities. It provides the economies of scale and expertise of a large fleet, while still maintaining local ownership and providing OPPD customers-owners with the most cost-efficient way of providing reliable and affordable power."

Fort Calhoun Station has been offline for a scheduled refueling outage since April 9, 2011. During that time, the employees of OPPD successfully protected the plant during the historic Missouri River flooding. The station has been working to get the plant operational and is working with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the current regulatory issues.

OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station will remain in the current offline status until all issues have been addressed and OPPD’s leadership determines it is safe to restart and the NRC agrees.

OPPD’s Board of Directors tonight authorized management to enter into the operating services agreement at its monthly meeting, held in Blair.

In other action, the board:

        … approved investment managers for OPPD’s retirement plan

        … authorized management to negotiate and enter into a contract to furnish chemical and volume control system pipe replacement welding services at the Fort Calhoun Station

        … approved the sale of property at 144th and Blondo Streets to the City of Omaha

        … received the OPPD President’s Report for August

        … formally received the 2012 J.D. Power Award for Customer Satisfaction

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OPPD August Board Meeting Will Be Thursday Night in Blair

August 15, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District is reminding the public that the Board of Directors will hold its monthly meeting for August at a different time and in a different location than normally scheduled. The meeting will be held:

Thursday, August 16, at 7 p.m.
Blair City Office Building
218 S. 16 St., Blair, Nebraska

OPPD schedules one board meeting a year in the evening, usually in a location outside of the metropolitan area. The other 11 meetings are held Thursday mornings at Energy Plaza in Omaha.

All board meetings are open to the public.

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OPPD Sets 2012 Speakers Series

July 26, 2012

Omaha Public Power District, in collaboration with Omaha Public Library and the Neighborhood Center, has created a speakers series to share its expertise on a number of energy-related topics.

All four sessions will be held at Omaha Public Library branch locations as noted below, and they are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served at each session.

Public Power… Benefitting You
Monday, Aug. 13, 5:30-7 p.m., South Omaha Branch/MCC, 2808 Q St.
As the 12th largest public power utility in the nation, OPPD must deliver maximum value to its customer-owners. Learn about the unique challenges, opportunities and advantages of public power and how it affects you.

Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, Sept. 11, 5:30-7 p.m., Abrahams Branch, 5111 N. 90th St.
There are many solutions to help you save money on your utility bills. Learn how to improve the efficiency of your home – from simple, low-cost tips to product solutions.

Electricity 101
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 5:30-7 p.m., Millard Branch, 13214 Westwood Lane
Where does electricity come from? How is it made? What is a kilowatt, and how many does it take to operate household items? Learn how OPPD generates electricity and delivers it to more than 784,500 people every single day.

The Future of Electric Power Tuesday, Nov. 6, 5:30-7 p.m., Florence Branch, 2920 Bondesson St.
OPPD produces energy using a mix of fuel that includes coal, nuclear, wind power, solar power, landfill gas and more. That mix continues to change. Hear what our experts have to say about what the future of electricity may look like.

OPPD serves customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Suggests Customers Conserve Electricity

July 17, 2012

With temperatures expected to remain near 100 degrees into next week, Omaha Public Power District suggests customers should plan now to conserve energy not only to reduce electricity use but also to reduce their bills for the coming period.

Sweltering temperatures and high relative humidity typically mean many air conditioners will be working in overdrive. The prolonged heat can also result in stress to the district’s electric delivery system adding to the importance of reducing demand through conservation, especially during the peak usage hours which is usually between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

OPPD serves more than 360,000 customers in 13 counties in southeastern Nebraska. The district currently has adequate generation to meet customer demands. However, that could be affected by disruptions in the transmission and distribution system locally or in other parts of the Midwest.

There are a number of ways to conserve energy and save on your energy bill while you continue to stay cool during the current heat wave.

  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible. A one-degree increase can save 3 to 5 percent on energy.
  • Keep window shades and blinds closed to block direct sunlight.
  • Clean or change your system’s air filter monthly to save energy and help prevent system failure.
  • Use ceiling fans to enable you to raise your thermostat about 4 degrees, with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off fans when you leave the room. Fans cool people, not rooms, by creating a wind chill effect.
  • Delay such task as dish washing or laundry until after 8 p.m. and restrict the use of heat-producing appliances such as ovens until later in the day.
  • Unplug appliances and shut off lights that are not in use.
  • Shower early in the morning or later in the evening.

OPPD offers these and many other energy efficiency tips on its web site: www.oppd.com.

Other utilities throughout the Midwest have also asked their customers to conserve electricity during the current heat wave, including Nebraska Public Power District and the Lincoln Electric System.

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Transmission Lines Project Approved for New Sarpy County Substation

July 12, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors took another step today to ensure the reliability of electric service in southeast Sarpy County and the surrounding areas. The board approved a contract to build and re-build 4.5 miles of high-voltage transmission lines to connect a new substation at 27th and Platteview Road in Bellevue to the electric grid delivery system.

The new substation, approved earlier by the board, is necessary due to the growth occurring in southeast Sarpy County and an increasing number of customers to the area. The location and development of the new substation followed an extensive public input process involving nearby residents, public officials and other stakeholders.

The contract for the transmission lines to connect the substation to the grid was awarded to the L.E. Myers Company of Marshalltown, Iowa, for just over $2 million ($2,002,812.54). The lines include one 161 kilovolt (kV) line near 42nd and Capehart Road to a substation at the Nebraska City Power Station and one 69 kV line near the Sarpy County station to a substation on East La Platte Road near Harlan Lewis Road.

Construction of the substation is expected to be completed by early 2014.

In other action, the board also:

… approved the authorization to sell up to $550 million of authorized bonds to refund existing debt and/or issue new debt upon acceptable debt service savings and acceptable market conditions.

… approved compensation adjustments for Chief Financial Officer Edward E. Easterlin, Vice President Timothy J. Burke, Vice President Mohamad I. Doghman, Vice President Jon T. Hansen and Vice President Sherrye L. Hutcherson.

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OPPD Again Warns Customers to be Wary of Scam Artists

July 12, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District is once again warning customers to be on the lookout for scam artists attempting to steal your money by gaining access to your financial information or obtain personal information such as your social security numbers in order to commit identity theft.

In the last few weeks, the latest ruse to gain traction is criminals going across the country, persuading victims that a new federal assistance program is available to help utility customers pay their bills. The program is described as a bailout authorized by President Barack Obama’s administration. Victims are given bank account and routing numbers to use when paying bills online after they “register.” Victims register by giving the scammers their Social Security numbers and other personal information.

There is no such federal program.

Investigators and utility industry officials say the account and routing numbers are phony. What makes this scam unique is that in addition to telephone calls, scammers are also going door-to-door, handing out leaflets to people encouraging them to use the bogus account information to pay their bills. The scammers have also struck using social media, including emails, Facebook and bogus tweets.

Again, there is no such government program.

In recent days, at least two incidents have been reported in the OPPD service territory. As your energy partner, OPPD wants to make sure that our customer-owners are aware and protected from this kind of negative and hurtful scam.

As always, the district reminds its customers to be careful of any strangers demanding financial account or credit card information as well as personal information such as Social Security numbers or a driver’s license number or making unusual requests. In the recent past, other schemes have included scammers even asking whether customers have home or business security systems, requesting they turn the systems off to help the local utility “conserve energy” during times of heavy demand such as during a heat wave.

Customers should never give out private or personal information to strangers making demands or offering participation in “new federal programs” either in person or over telephones. They should also refuse to turn off their security systems simply because a stranger asks them to do so. Any customer who receives such a call is advised to call local law enforcement. Meanwhile, if a customer has a particular question about payment or their account, that customer is advised to always call OPPD first before giving anything to a stranger either over the telephone or in person.

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Number 12 a mark of consistency and sound fundamentals

July 11, 2012

Despite a challenging year, Omaha Public Power District customers have voted their electric utility the best in its class for the 12th consecutive year, according to an announcement today from marketing services firm J.D. Power & Associates. In the latest annual survey of residential customer satisfaction, OPPD again topped all competitors among midsize utilities in the Midwest region.

"Any time you can win an award like this twelve times in a row, it indicates excellent, consistent performance. Consistency is extremely important for a quality, high performing organization which is what we strive to be," said OPPD President and CEO Gary Gates, who again thanked the utility’s customers for the honor.

Mr. Gates said the award shows that fundamentals like basic customer service, meeting customer demand and reliability are still important and still there for OPPD.

Finishing on top of the 2012 survey follows a year when the district has had to deal with the aftermath of flooding on the Missouri River, efforts to restart Fort Calhoun Station, the impact of various storms and record-breaking heat waves which pushed electricity demands upwards.

"In many respects, this has been a challenging year and to be recognized in such challenging times is gratifying. It shows we have a winning team. Championship teams win when there is adversity. We have had adversity. We have won this award in good times and we have won it challenging times. We are a championship team," Mr. Gates said.

The 2012 Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study SM is based on responses from more than 100,000 online interviews, conducted from July 2011 through May 2012 among residential customers of the 126 largest electric utility brands across the United States.

J.D. Power & Associates, which is based in California, defines midsize utilities as those serving between 125,000 and 499,000 residential customers. OPPD serves more than 350,000 customers.

The overall customer satisfaction experience of residential customers is measured using attributes within six factors. The six are Power Quality and Reliability; Price; Billing and Payment; Corporate Citizenship; Communications; and Customer service.

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OPPD Society of Engineers Names Tom Burton "Engineer of the Year"

June 28, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Society of Engineers has honored a man with a history of technical ability and attentiveness to the needs and development of fellow engineers. The OPPD Society of Engineers named Tom Burton, manager - Design Engineering, as its Engineer of the Year.

Tom received the award at the OPPD Society of Engineers (OSE) annual general membership meeting June 22. Tom, who has spent 32 years at OPPD, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

OSE presents an annual award to recognize an OPPD engineer for his or her significant contributions to the engineering profession.

A number of criteria are considered in the selection process. Following are examples how Tom met or exceeded the criteria in several key areas:

  • Significant achievement in the engineering field – since 1987, when he was named Lead Engineer, he has served as project manager on some of the larger projects and modifications at various OPPD facilities. For example, he was project manager on the $10 million North Omaha Station Coal-Handling Upgrade Project in 2000 that modernized the system and gave the plant the ability to move coal faster.
  • Continuing competence – In 2010, he was named manager of both the mechanical/civil and electrical engineering departments.
  • Behaviors that create and support the OPPD ideal culture – Tom maintains an open-door policy that encourages other engineers to stop in and chat. In particular, he is known for mentoring and encouraging younger engineers or those new to OPPD.
  • Community involvement – since 1990, Tom has done volunteer work two nights a month at the Stephen Center homeless shelter. He is also a deacon in the Catholic Church and a member of Holy Cross parish in Omaha.

OPPD relies heavily on engineers, a group that comprises about 19 percent of OPPD’s workforce. They cover mechanical, civil, electrical, construction, chemical and nuclear engineering disciplines, and they have been the backbone of the utility since it began operations in 1946. Building on an already strong foundation, OSE was formed in 2010 to further attract, retain, engage and develop engineers.

OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Project to Maintain Reliability and Serve Future Growth

June 21, 2012

Unlike some areas of the country, the nation’s current economy has not seemed to curb growth in Omaha’s metropolitan area. That is especially true for portions of western Douglas County, along the Maple and Blondo Streets corridor. In fact, planners say that area is poised to experience even more growth and development in the near future. The prospect has prompted the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors to approve two new measures at its monthly meeting in June.

To accommodate and support the progressive growth and development of the area, the board has voted to clear the way for a new substation to be built near 180th and Blondo Streets. The board says the new substation will ensure that the District will be able to continue to provide safe, low-cost electricity in the future to that area, as well as maintain current reliability and customer service.

Directors voted to authorize management to negotiate with property owners to acquire various properties and to use eminent domain only if necessary to obtain the 10 acres needed to construct the new substation. The District also will begin to acquire the necessary property for permanent easements to allow new construction and relocation of existing transmission lines to accommodate expansion of electrical services in the area. The new substation is scheduled to be completed by June 2014.

In other action, the board also:

        … rejected bids received for equipment for the natural gas igniter system at Nebraska City Station and authorized management to negotiate a contract.

        … approved regulatory accounting for debt issuance costs.

        … received the President’s report for June.

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Maintenance and Project Service Contract to Benefit all OPPD Generating Units

May 17, 2012

The OPPD Board of Directors approved a new contract for maintenance and equipment project services for all district generating stations at its meeting today. The contract was awarded to Kiewit Power Nuclear Company for $64 million. The scope of the contract includes providing services at Fort Calhoun Station, Nebraska City Station, North Omaha Station and peaking plants.

“The agreement is not intended to eliminate contract positions within OPPD,” said Jon Hansen, vice president of Energy Production and Marketing. “The contract provides skilled craft people to augment OPPD staffs during times of peak work, such as outages or special projects – also referred to as managed tasks. This will allow OPPD to keep full-time permanent staff at an appropriate level throughout the year. In other words, it will allow personnel to concentrate on the work they should be doing during peak work times and allow them to do it more effectively.”

Kiewit was the lowest bidder among four vendors submitting bids. Other major factors considered by an evaluation committee included safety record, as well as experience. The new contract will go into effect on July 1, 2012. It has an initial term of three years, with an option to extend the term of the contract for four additional one-year periods.

In other action at its monthly meeting, the board also:

         … presented a 2012 J.M. Harding Memorial scholarship to Abe Muyres, a student in Creighton University’s College of Business. Abe, who is from Rochester, Minn., plans to graduate in 2014 with a major in Accounting and Finance. On May 7, OPPD presented another J.M. Harding scholarship to David Beberwyk, a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Engineering. David, who is majoring in Civil Engineering, left earlier this month for a summer internship in Texas.  OPPD established the Harding scholarship in 1984. Named after the district’s first president, the scholarships are aimed at encouraging interest in the engineering and business fields.

… approved the appointment of Colchester Global Investors Limited as a Global Fixed Income investment manager for OPPD’s Retirement Plan.

         … approved the District’s Health Plan - 2011 Annual Report.

         … modified authorization to execute standard easement releases.

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OPPD Awards 23 Tree Grants to Community Groups

April 27, 2012

Nearly 111,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in southeast Nebraska since 1990, thanks to Omaha Public Power District's Tree Promotion Program.

This spring, we’re branching out even more.

At an Arbor Day tree-planting ceremony at Lauritzen Gardens this morning, OPPD awarded tree grants totaling $32,700 to 23 nonprofit groups in southeast Nebraska. The organizations below were among 51 who submitted applications and formal planting plans through the program.

"The program provides a wide range of education concerning trees," said OPPD Vice President Mo Doghman. "One education component revolves around the selection and placement of trees.

"It's important that customers know what they can safely plant around power lines and other electrical equipment," Doghman said. "Trees that grow too tall can impact the reliability of electric service, and they may pose safety concerns to our employees and the public."

To further community education efforts, OPPD maintains a 26-acre Arboretum at 108th & Blondo in Omaha to give customers an up-close look. It contains more than 1,000 trees and shrubs of more than 200 different species, plus two miles of trails and an outdoor classroom.

For more tree-planting information, visit oppd.com/trees or call 1-866-444-9160. OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

2012 OPPD Tree Grant Recipients

Bell Elementary Green Club, Papillion
Bellevue West High School, Bellevue Public Schools
City of Omaha, Fontenelle Park
Conestoga Magnet Center, Omaha Public Schools
Deerfield Elementary School, Blair Community Schools
First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Bluffs
First Unitarian Church of Omaha
Fort Calhoun Community Schools, Fort Calhoun
Fourth Grade Foresters, Omaha
GFWC Papillion Junior Woman’s Club, Papillion
Leawood West Homeowners Association, Omaha
Loveland Neighborhood Association, Omaha
Mead Evangelical Covenant Church, Mead
Metcalfe-Harrison Neighborhood Association, Omaha
North Bend Library Foundation, North Bend
North Elementary School, Blair Community Schools
Open Door Mission, Omaha
Park View Heights Elementary School, Papillion-LaVista Schools
St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Omaha
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Omaha
Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Omaha
Wake Robin Youth Club, Bellevue
Woodbridge Homeowners’ Association, Omaha
 

2012 OPPD Tree Grant Recipients, by County

Dodge County

North Bend Library Foundation
 

Douglas County

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Omaha
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Omaha
Leawood West Homeowners’ Association, Omaha
Woodbridge Homeowners Association, Omaha
Open Door Mission, Omaha
Metcalfe Harrison Neighborhood Association, Omaha
St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Omaha
City of Omaha, Fontenelle Park
Loveland Neighborhood Association, Omaha
Conestoga Magnet Center, Omaha
First Unitarian Church of Omaha
 

Sarpy County

Bell Elementary Green Club, Papillion
Wake Robin Youth Club, Bellevue
Bellevue West High School, Bellevue
GFWC Papillion Junior Woman’s Club, Papillion
Park View Heights Elementary School, LaVista
 

Saunders County

Mead Evangelical Covenant Church of Mead

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OPPD Tree Efforts Earns National Honors

April 27, 2012

For the twelfth consecutive year, the Omaha Public Power District has been named a Tree Line USA Utility Provider by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization which in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters recognizes public and private utility providers across the nation that apply practices that protect and enhance America's trees and urban forests. The goal of the Tree Line USA program is to promote safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees throughout a utility company's service area.

"Trees are a critical part of urban landscapes all across the United States," said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation which includes one million members. "Service providers like Omaha Public Power District show that taking care of urban trees is good for business, for customers and for the broader community."

In announcing OPPD's selection, the Arbor Day Foundation said the District met five program standards required for a Tree Line USA utility. The requirements are that the utility follows industry standards for quality tree care; provides annual worker training in best tree-care practices; sponsors a tree-planting and public education program; maintains a tree-based energy conservation program; and participates in an Arbor Day celebration.

More information about the Arbor Day Foundation and the Tree Line USA program and be found at www.arborday.org. Information about OPPD's tree programs and conservations efforts can be found under the Aim Green section on the district's website at www.oppd.com.

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OPPD Presents Incentive Check to General Services Administration for Energy Savings

April 26, 2012

Omaha Public Power District officials have recognized the General Service Administration Region 6 for its commitment to efficient energy management at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse.Sherrye Hutcherson - presents GSA check - jpg

OPPD Vice President Sherrye Hutcherson presented a check on Thursday for $48,800 to Mary Kosmicki, Director, GSA Nebraska Office. The check represents energy savings that the GSA realized at the facility as a result of several energy commissioning and optimization projects. Built in 2000, the six-story building has become a model for how to get the most from energy management systems.

"GSA will see an actual utility cost savings of $173,670 annually at the courthouse, based on 12 months of utility data," said Hutcherson. "The results speak for themselves, but OPPD applauds the GSA for its good stewardship of reducing energy demand and cutting its energy bill, thus saving taxpayer dollars. The project serves as a successful example to others."

The federal courthouse, located at 111 S. 18th Plaza in downtown, Omaha, has 356,873-square-feet of space. GSA personnel worked with OPPD, as well as specialized subcontractors Bes-Tech and Engineered Controls Inc. on improvements in the building's energy systems. GSA's operations and maintenance contractor LB&B also played a critical role in the project because of their knowledge of the building.

The work included optimizing controls for air handling units and adjusting variable-volume terminal boxes and airflow equipment. The project team also implemented pump flow stations for chilled and hot water pumps, as well as fan airflow stations for air handling units, both using what is called ECO 24/7SM engineering.

ECO 24/7SM, a combined effort between OPPD and OPPD's subcontractor Bes-Tech, implements measures to optimize energy use. A building owner can reduce energy costs by up to 40 percent, with a reasonable payback period.

By taking these steps, the GSA reduced annual HVAC chilled water consumption by 33.5 percent, steam consumption by 24.4 percent, electricity consumption by 13.6 percent and electricity demand by 17.7 percent, based on 12 month of utility data.

The building has achieved ENERGY STAR status with a rating of 87%. This the fourth consecutive ENERGY STAR award for the courthouse.

OPPD provides energy management tips and services to residential and business customers. Information is available on oppd.com.

OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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Fort Calhoun Station Training Program Reaffirmed

April 20, 2012

The National Academy for Nuclear Training has given a “thumbs up” to the operations training program at Fort Calhoun Station. As part of the rigor of running a nuclear power plant, organizations like OPPD are held to high standards in making certain their personnel receive top quality training. The reactor operators who control the plant, for instance, spend one week out of every six in training, handling various scenarios in a full-scale simulator.

The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) operates the National Academy for Nuclear Training. At strategic times, teams of evaluators travel to Fort Calhoun Station to thoroughly examine the program. During their visits, they pore over books of training documents, question personnel, and observe actual training as it takes place. A special board then reviews the reports of the teams.

“We are pleased to receive this reaccreditation, especially as the requirements for accreditation continue to intensify,” said OPPD Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Dave Bannister. “We will continue to improve our training programs which, in turn, improve our overall performance.”

Mr. Bannister, who lives near the plant, noted that earning reaccreditation is not part of the plant’s current recovery process. Not being reaccredited, however, would have set us back several months, he said.

OPPD and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission currently are working on a checklist of tasks that must be accomplished prior to safely restarting the plant.

“Safety is top of mind for us in all of our efforts,” Mr. Bannister said.

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OPPD Ranks First in Business Customer Satisfaction

April 12, 2012

In a year chock full of challenges, OPPD continued to improve in the area of customer service in 2011. At its meeting this morning, the OPPD Board of Directors heard validation of that from Chris Oberle, senior director of the energy practice at J.D. Power and Associates.

Oberle attended the meeting to present OPPD a trophy for finishing first place in the Midwest region among midsize utilities in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study (SM). Results of the study were announced in mid-February.

It measures customer satisfaction by examining six factors: power quality and reliability, billing and payment, corporate citizenship, price, communication and customer service. OPPD finished first in all six categories among similar-sized utilities in the Midwest region. Wisconsin Public Service finished second overall in the same category.

“This recognition from our business customers means a great deal to OPPD,” JD Power Award 4-12-12 - jpgsaid Gary Gates, president and CEO. “We strive to provide reliable and affordable electricity for all of our customer-owners, and we continually look for ways to enhance our service. Last year, historic flooding and other challenges pulled our resources in many directions. However, creation of a Business Solution Center and improved customers communication seem to have paid off.”

OPPD’s score in 2012 represents a marked improvement over its score one year ago when the utility finished second in the Midwest region to MidAmerican Energy. This year MidAmerican Energy moved to a different category, ranking highest among large electric utilities in the Midwest region. OPPD’s overall score was the second highest among all utilities in the U.S., regardless of size or region.

In other action at its monthly meeting, the board also:
    … authorized a one-year contract extension of forestry services to Asplundh Tree Expert Company for $4,930,327 and Wright Tree Services Inc. for $1,917,350.

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OPPD In-Lieu-of Tax Payments Exceed $27 Million

April 2, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District contributed significantly to the treasuries of the communities it serves today, distributing more than $27 million in 2011 in-lieu-of-tax payments. The payments to 11 counties in the utility’s service territory represent a new record, surpassing last year’s amount of $26.8 million.

The in-lieu-of-tax payments are based on OPPD’s gross revenues from retail sales of electricity within incorporated cities and villages during the previous year. The payments take the place of property taxes as well as some other taxes. In addition to the in-lieu-of-tax payments, the District pays general sales taxes, gasoline taxes, wheel taxes, motor vehicle license fees and permit fees like any other business.

The in-lieu-of-tax payments will be distributed by the county treasurers to school districts, cities and other entities.

“Despite extraordinary challenges in 2011, which included managing historic flooding, OPPD took extra measures to maintain operations and keep rates well below the national average,” said OPPD Board Chairman N.P. Dodge Jr.

“The in-lieu-of-tax payments will greatly benefit local communities, as the monies contributed to the various local treasuries will help them remain economically healthy and fund needed services,” Chairman Dodge said.

The 11 counties that received payments today and the amounts received are as follows:


                      Douglas.............................................. $22,156,095

                      Sarpy.................................................... $3,782,249

                      Washington............................................. $ 558,151

                      Saunders................................................. $ 248,777

                      Cass......................................................... $222,861

                      Dodge...................................................... $116,522

                      Nemaha.................................................... $ 36,451

                      Johnson.................................................... $ 13,414

                      Richardson............................................... $ 12,712

                      Otoe........................................................... $ 4,409

                      Colfax........................................................ $ 4,401

                      Total................................................. $ 27,156,042

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OPPD plant to provide renewable energy five more years

March 15, 2012

When it opened in May, 2002, it stood as the largest single renewable energy plant in Nebraska. Since then, OPPD’s Elk City Station has operated so successfully it was expanded in 2006, nearly doubling in size from a plant generating 3.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity to one with a total new output of 6.1 MW. What makes the facility unique is that it operates using methane and other gases given off by decomposing trash at the Douglas County Landfill. Today, the OPPD Board of Directors approved a measure to ensure the plant will continue operating for another five years.

During its monthly meeting, the Board of Directors authorized management to extend funding for an operations and maintenance agreement with Waste Management Inc. (WMI) to run the facility for an additional five years. The current joint agreement is scheduled to expire next month. The funding extension will ensure continued operation of the renewable energy plant and is expected to cost an estimated $6.0 million. WMI is the owner of the landfill in addition to being the operator of the landfill gas-to-energy plant for OPPD. Using the gases from the landfill not only generates electricity for the District but also prevents those gases from being released into the atmosphere. OPPD has set a corporate goal to have 10 percent of the electricity it sells to retail customers, about 400 MW, come from renewable energy sources by 2020. By the end of 2012, OPPD expects to reach the halfway point of that goal.

OPPD has set a corporate goal to have 10 percent of the electricity it sells to retail customers, about 400 MW, come from renewable energy sources by 2020. By the end of 2012, OPPD expects to reach the halfway point of that goal.

In other action at its monthly meeting, the board also: … authorized management to negotiate and award a contract(s) to furnish 480 volt electrical isolation devices and services for the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station. The equipment is needed to provide further reliability of the Fort Calhoun Station’s design and to ensure the safety of the public. … approved awarding a contract to Toshiba International Corporation for $587,600 to furnish, install and commission an upgraded turbine control system at the Nebraska City Station Unit No. 2.

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OPPD Reintroduces Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program

March 2, 2012

Omaha Public Power District’s refrigerator/freezer recycling program returns for a third year. Beginning March 1, for a limited time, OPPD will recycle your old refrigerator, haul it away and pay you $35.

Old refrigerators can use up to four times more electricity than new ones. Operating in spaces that aren’t temperature-controlled, like a garage, makes them work even harder, especially in the hot days of summer. Retiring your old, inefficient second refrigerator or freezer is good for the environment – and it could save you up to $150 a year. Over the past two years, 4,157 such units were collected through the program.

“The program has proven very successful, both in terms of removing inefficient appliances from the grid and for responsibly recycling the materials,” said OPPD Vice President Tim Burke. “We encourage customers to take advantage of the program this year, which is the third year for the grant.” Funding for the program comes from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grants Program, which is co-sponsoring the program with OPPD.

Here’s how the program works:

  • OPPD customers can take advantage of the program by calling 1-866-444-9160 or visiting www.jacoinc.net to schedule a pick-up.
  • The program covers the removal of up to two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order, with an inside measurement of between 10 and 32 cubic feet.
  • OPPD contracts with JACO Environmental, a firm that will remove the appliances from participating customers’ homes.
  • JACO dismantles and recycles the appliances. JACO’s process recycles 95 percent of the material in the appliances. Even the foam insulation, which cannot be recycled, is safely incinerated through a method that generates electricity for the grid. Some of the materials inside refrigerators and freezers pose an environmental threat if discarded in landfills.
  • The program will run through October 2012, if funds permit.

For more information, visit oppd.com/fridge or call 1-866-444-9160.

OPPD is one of the largest customer-owned electric utilities in the United States, serving more than 352,000 customers in 13 counties in southeast Nebraska.

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OPPD Sustainability Program Continues to Gain Momentum

February 16, 2012

The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors heard the utility is at nearly 35 percent of a goal it established in 2008 to have 10 percent of its energy from renewable resources. The District’s efforts over the last year are detailed in the annual OPPD Sustainability Report. The report was presented to the board at its monthly meeting today along with an update of the utility’s latest efforts.

President and CEO Gary Gates said he is excited about the momentum he feels the renewable energy and sustainable energy programs are experiencing and the potential to save money and energy “without any compromise of reliability.”

He added that best of all, by the end of the year OPPD could reach the halfway point of its overall corporate goal. The goal is to have at least of 10 percent of the electricity sold to OPPD’s retail customers come from renewable sources by 2020.

In addition to advancements in the area of renewable energy, the new report also takes an extensive look at the many efforts currently underway as well as those on the horizon to promote energy efficiency among both residential and commercial customers. It also highlights OPPD’s continued commitment to environmental stewardship efforts, including increased recycling efforts and the new Omaha Service Center, only the third building in the state of Nebraska to receive the highest certification for its modern design and environmentally-sustainable construction.

The complete 2012 Sustainability Report can be found online at OPPD’s website (www.oppd.com).

In other action the board also approved a contract to purchase steel materials to build or rebuild 4.5 miles of transmission lines that will eventually connect with a new substation in southeast Sarpy County. The area is one of the fastest growing in the state.

Grading work for the future substation at 27th and Platteview Road in Bellevue began several months ago. The future substation is necessary to maintain a high level of reliable service for customers while accommodating the increasing number of new customers to the area.

The board also approved 2012 Standing Committee assignments.

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OPPD Tree Promotion Program Accepting Applications

February 09, 2012

If you are a nonprofit group, school or civic organizations hoping to apply for a grant from the Omaha Public Power District for a special tree planting project in your community, the time to do so is now. Once again, as part of OPPD’s annual Tree Promotion Program, the District has set up a tree planting fund and through that fund will sponsor a limited number of tree-planting projects in its 13-county service area.

Information and applications are available at www.oppd.com under the Aim Green tab or by calling the OPPD Forestry division at 402-536-4131 or 1-877-536-4131.

OPPD funds projects based on their educational value, benefit to the community and whether there is a stated commitment to maintaining the planting site in the future. All applications must include a planting plan that meets program guidelines. The plan may include shrubs as well as trees.

2012 marks the thirteenth spring that the District has provided funds to promote the planting of trees and to help educate the public concerning the value, selection, welfare and proper placement of trees. Since 1989, OPPD has provided approximately $1,040,000 in funding for various tree-planting projects, resulting in the planting of almost 111,000 trees and shrubs.

Applications for this year are due by Friday March 23. OPPD will award the grants in April. Winners will be notified of preliminary approval with final approval following an inspection of the project plant site.

OPPD is a Tree Line USA Utility as selected by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

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OPPD Board Elects New Officers for 2012

January 12, 2012

The Board of Directors of the Omaha Public Power District has selected a new slate of officers to lead the board in 2012. The board unanimously elected N.P. Dodge Jr. as its new chairman, John R. Thompson as vice chairman, Michael J. Cavanaugh as treasurer and Anne L. McGuire as board secretary. The elections were held during January's regular business meeting.

The board also honored outgoing chairman John K. Green with a special plaque. Mr. Green has served as chairman for the past two years N.P. Dodge Jr. was first elected to the board in 1994. He has also previously served as chairman, secretary and treasurer. Mr. Dodge represents customers in the Metropolitan Subdivision.

Mr. Dodge is President and Chairman of the Board of the N.P. Dodge Company. He holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and serves on the board of directors of American States Water Company. He was the 1997 chairman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Chamber's Advisory Council Committee. Currently, he is a member of the Physicians Clinic Board of Trustees, Omaha Community Playhouse Foundation Board of Trustees and Omaha Police Foundation Board.

He is a past member of the Nebraska Power Review Board and Mayor's Crime Commission. He is past director of the Girls Club of Omaha and of the Firstar Bank in Council Bluffs; and past president of the Omaha chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Managers. He is also a past member of the board of directors of Bridges Investment Council and current member of the Advisory Council of Just Kidsl.

John R. Thompson represents the Suburban Subdivision. He was first elected to the board in 2004.

Mr. Thompson is a land developer. He is past owner of Putt-Putt Golf of Bellevue and several businesses in Nebraska and Iowa. He is also the developer of Twin Creek Center in Bellevue. Mr. Thompson is a past member of the Bellevue City Council, chairman of several sanitary improvement districts, a 39-year member of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce and has served on various land planning boards. He is co-chair of the Parent Television Council.

Other organizations where he has served include the Memorial Ridge of the Midlands Foundation as Vice President, the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery Advisory Board, the Sarpy County Economic Development Committee (1996 to 2002) and the United States Navy (1969 to 1971). He is a Vietnam veteran, ComCruDesFlot 9, Seventh Fleet, from which he was honorably discharged.

Mr. Thompson and his wife of 40 years, Monie (Hokanson) Thompson, have two sons, E. Grant and Adam R.

Michael J. Cavanaugh was first elected to the board in 1994. He represents the Metropolitan Subdivision.

Mr. Cavanaugh is a retired police lieutenant for the City of Omaha who holds a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is also a real estate investor - manager and a former licensed Nebraska realtor, involved in residential property management.

A lifetime resident of Omaha, Mr. Cavanaugh is a former Rotary member and former member of the Omaha Jaycees. He has served as a member of various City of Omaha committees dealing with job training for underprivileged teens and with enforcing housing code violations within the city.

Anne L. McGuire was first elected to the Board in 1996 to represent customers in the Metropolitan Subdivision. Mrs. McGuire holds a bachelor's degree in nursing from Creighton University and a master's degree in nursing from St. Louis University. She is a former nurse educator, clinician and researcher. She is also an editor and co-author of two university textbooks.

Mrs. McGuire serves as on the Board of Directors of GESU Housing, Inc., and is President of the Creighton University Jaybackers. She received the Spirit of Creighton Award in 1973.

In other action at its monthly meeting, the board approved appointing Oppenheimer Funds Inc., Wells Capital Management, Inc., and State Street Global Advisors as investment managers for OPPD's Retirement Plan.

 

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