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OPPD Champions Environmental Causes

 

AimGreenOmaha.com

A link to a site of fun and interesting energy information.

OPPD Champions Environmental Causes

OPPD has earned a growing reputation for protecting and improving the quality of the environment. OPPD operates a number of projects as part of its ongoing efforts to partner with the community in the conservation of resources. To view a video, please click here.

New Division: Sustainable Energy and Environmental Stewardship

In June 2007, OPPD launched a new energy initiative aimed at increasing its emphasis on renewable energy, conservation and concern for the environment. The Sustainable Energy and Environmental Stewardship division has been created to focus on these areas. Read full news release (PDF document in new window).

Prairie and Wetland Restoration

In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a 30-acre terrace overlooking the Missouri River near Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station has been planted with native grasses, which provide critical habitats for many species of plants and animals. The area was restored to look much like it did when Lewis and Clark journeyed westward 200 years ago. Native grasses will also be re-established in other areas of the site, supporting the work of DeSoto and Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge.

Also, OPPD helped relocate natural wetlands equal to a half-acre at the Neale Woods Nature Center, providing educational opportunities for visitors. The preservation of wetlands improves water quality by stopping pollutants from entering the Missouri River and helps control flooding.  

 

Prairie Flowers

The Right Tree in the Right Place

OPPD's utility arboretum, with gardens and education areas, features more than 1,000 plants, including more than 200 species of shrubs and 200 species of trees. The arboretum was designed to help visitors learn about the planting of trees near power lines and encourage the conservation of energy. In addition, OPPD conducts a tree program that has resulted in the planting of more than 104,000 trees and shrubs in community areas since 1989. The utility also has a "natural" tree trimming program, promoting better health for trees. These programs have earned OPPD the Tree Line USA utility award for seven consecutive years.

Waste to Watts

OPPD has doubled in size its landfill gas-to-energy plant, which turns methane gas from decomposing garbage into electricity. The plant currently uses methane gas created at the Douglas County landfill to generate more than 56 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power about 4,000 homes. Because the gas is always being generated, the plant, called Elk City Station, has been able to put electricity on the grid more than 95 percent of the time.

 

Woodlands

The Power of the Wind

OPPD currently operates a 660-kilowatt wind turbine under an agreement with Valmont Industries Inc. In addition, OPPD and other energy companies are participating in the NPPD wind farm project near Ainsworth, and another wind farm near Bloomfield. Altogether OPPD contracted for 35-million watts of wind power. While the wind is better in other parts of Nebraska for wind turbines, OPPD continues to look for ways to economically generate electricity with wind closer to home. OPPD is currently evaluating proposals to add up to 80 MW of wind-generated electricity.

 

Wind Power

Solar Energy

OPPD operates a photovoltaic system, a renewable energy source, at its Elkhorn Center. The system generates 5,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually by capturing the sun's energy and converting it to electricity, which is then used by the center.

 

A Leader in Recycling

OPPD annually recycles approximately 135 thousand tons of fly ash from coal combustion that can be used in road construction projects. In addition, the utility recycles more than 225 tons of paper products annually, as well as discarded lamps and streetlights. From 1999 through 2006, OPPD will have used nearly 64,000 gallons of 100-percent soy diesel in its fleet of trucks.

 

Fuel Cells

OPPD has participated in several pilot projects for fuel cells - one at Henry Doorly Zoo that is ongoing and a completed project at Offutt Air Force Base. Rather than using combustion, fuel cells produce electricity chemically, by converting natural gas or another fuel into hydrogen, then combining that with oxygen. Because there is no combustion, fuel cells are virtually emission-free.

 

The Power Drive Program

OPPD's Power Drive Program encourages interest in energy- and automotive-related careers. During the course of the year, students design and construct safe, energy-efficient electric vehicles that they showcase during a series of rallies, culminating in a state championship. The Power Drive Program provides an invaluable way for OPPD to invest in Nebraska's youth and our energy future.

 

Power Drive Program

Additional Efforts

These efforts represent only a part of OPPD's commitment to operate in an environmentally responsible manner, while providing affordable and reliable service. OPPD also uses low-sulfur coal at its two coal-fired generating plants and has partnered with other utilities to voluntarily reduce carbon monoxide emissions.


 

Surge Protection

OPPD's Surge Guard Plus can help prevent damage to your electronic equipment. Even small surges can create minor damage that may go unnoticed but still shorten the life of your valuable equipment.

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