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Integrated Resource Plan - 2016

Integrated Resource Plan - 2016

Leading the Way We Power the Future

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On February 24, 2017, OPPD submitted an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) to one of our energy partners, the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). This plan is prepared every five years as part of our contractual commitment to WAPA for hydroelectric power. 

Below is an overview of our progress over the years, and a look at the process leading up to the WAPA filing, including stakeholder outreach and open houses. Our research shows you trust us to make the right decisions. But it's also important to us that you are educated and engaged in the process, and that you have access to the information. That’s the power of public power.

What is an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)

The plan is a road map for meeting OPPD's mission. It helps us determine how we will generate power in the future. We utilize a comprehensive, forward-looking decision support tool for evaluating resource options to meet our objectives at the lowest cost. The process considers supply-and-demand resource options, risk and fuel, power and technology costs associated with various resource plan outcomes.  

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OPPD's Resource Planning Practices

The utility industry is experiencing dynamic change at an accelerated pace. For that reason, OPPD regularly reviews resource options (and will continue to do so). In addition, the IRP is conducted every five years as part of the formal filing with WAPA. All reviews are based on market conditions, load requirements, legislation, research and pace of value for our customers.  

Since our last formal IRP, our regular review and planning resulted in the decisions below:

  • In 2014, we added nearly 200 megawatts of wind (Prairie Breeze) and announced plans for an additional 400 megawatts of wind (Grande Prairie) to come online in 2017.
  • In 2014, we announced plans to retire North Omaha Units 1-3 (our three oldest coal-generation units) and we refueled to natural gas in 2016. We also announced the addition of emission controls on North Omaha Units 4 & 5 and Nebraska City Unit 1.
  • In 2016, we began the decommissioning of our Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station because it was no longer economically feasible to operate.

What's next?

As part of this year's planning, OPPD has several near-term decisions to make. We will be submitting a 5-year plan to WAPA, focusing on the short-term. This plan was presented at the Nov. 17 board meeting. We will revisit our options once we know the final legal status of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a set of Federal regulations limiting carbon emissions and expected to be enacted in the coming years. For OPPD, planning and decisions for future years will be revisited once there is more clarity around those regulations. 


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Why change now?

Change takes time, preparation and years to implement. Doing nothing now will cost more in the long-run. OPPD must make changes to its portfolio to ensure compliance with the possible CPP regulations and ensure long-term low rates.

Stakeholder Outreach

OPPD listens. As a customer-owner, your opinion matters and your feedback is welcome 24/7. Thank you for helping us shape your future generation. OPPD will hold open houses for our customers to learn more about the IRP process and plan. You are invited to attend any of the following dates.

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Tuesday, Nov. 29, 5-7 p.m.
UNO Engagement Center
Rooms 230-231 (OPPD Dialogue Room)
6400 University Drive South, Omaha, NE 68182

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 5-7 p.m.
Blair City Council Chamber Room
218 South 16 Street, Blair, NE 68008

Thursday, Dec. 1, 5-7 p.m.
Syracuse Center

935 11 Street, Syracuse, NE 68446

Where We've Been

Below is a breakdown of fuel sources OPPD has used in past years.

Fuel Mix

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Where We're Headed

In 2014, OPPD held a robust stakeholder process regarding our generation portfolio. That portfolio is in effect today and the proposed additions are listed here.

Four Portfolios 3Four portfolios were selected as a result of our study. As part of the modeling process, we applied some assumptions:

  • Ensure reliability. To maintain an adequate capacity margin, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) requires a minimum reserve margin of 12 percent. SPP is comprised of several utilities, generators and transmission companies for the purpose of ensuring reliability across the region. OPPD has been a member of SPP since 2009.
  • Limit market exposure and operational risk. Total energy generation not to exceed 30 percent above OPPD's retail load. 
  • Include renewables. OPPD is dedicated to renewable generation per our strategic directive. By 2018, OPPD expects approximately 30 percent of all its retail sales to come from renewable energy - predominantly wind power with a small landfill gas operation. 

Portfolio comparisons reflect a more restrictive regulatory environment than today, conservatively ensuring our compliance with the Clean Power Plan. 


Remember, OPPD has committed to no general rate increase through 2021.
Amounts are compared on a Net Present Value basis over a 20-year period.


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Emission reductions are comparable across the portfolios. OPPD continues to proactively protect the environment and meet or exceed all regulatory requirements. The installation and operation of emission controls in 2015 at North Omaha Units 4 & 5 and Nebraska City Unit 1 has resulted in dramatic reductions in mercury emissions. The conversion of three coal units to natural gas will also continue to reduce emissions. Depiction of emissions is based on CPP requirements. 
Source: OPPD Environmental Affairs

Co2 Chart Murcury Chart

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Demand-side Management (DSM) and Energy Efficiency

Demand-side management programs are designed to reduce energy consumption and/or peak load by incenting customers to invest in energy-efficient equipment or reduce their usage during periods of high electricity demand.

All four portfolios concluded that 46 MW of the planned 300 MW DSM programs are uneconomical and should be re-evaluated at this time. The DSM megawatt reduction was solely related to a planned commercial demand-response program not yet implemented. 

OPPD's intent is to continue with existing commercial and residential programs, which promote demand response and energy efficiency. In addition to existing programs, OPPD will continue to seek innovative and cost effective demand side managment programs that can provide sustainable alternatives. 

Stakeholder Results

The results of the stakeholder outreach was presented during the Dec. Board of Directors meeting. Watch the video of the presentation below and review the presentation online.


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FAQ's and Additional Resources

Review our FAQs and review the Proposed Generations Additions to learn more about OPPD’s Integrated Resource Plan. See Additional Resources for all presentations and supporting material.