At their monthly meeting today, the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors approved a Corporate Operating Plan (COP) for 2019, honoring the utility’s commitment to no general rate increases through 2020.
In addition, the budget calls for no increase in the Fuel and Purchased Power Adjustment (FPPA), which may be used to address costs outside of a utility’s control, such as fluctuating costs of fuel and power it buys on the market.
Javier Fernandez, vice president of Financial Services and chief financial officer, presented a preliminary COP to the board last month.
The COP addresses three major transmission projects that will continue to take shape in 2019.
“These projects will support the continued growth we are seeing in our area,” Fernandez said.
The nearly $1.2 billion proposed budget also reflects OPPD’s dedication to renewable energy, which continues to increase within OPPD’s retail sales portfolio. The district’s retail sales from renewables will increase to about 40 percent once Sholes Wind Energy Center goes online in 2019. It will add 160 megawatts (MW) of wind energy.
In addition, a community solar project will go online in the summer of 2019, providing 5 MW of energy to OPPD customers through a 20-year power purchase agreement contract with NextEra Energy Resources. The facility will be located east of the city of Fort Calhoun.
During their board committee meeting Tuesday, directors received a project and pricing update on OPPD’s LED streetlight conversion project. OPPD will replace nearly 100,000 high-pressure sodium fixtures with energy-efficient LEDs. Those will be replaced as lamps burn out over the next five years.
Today, directors approved an amendment to Rate 350 Municipal Service Street Lighting for the addition of new LED streetlight options. The fixtures are expected to eventually reduce bills by 25 percent for streetlight customers, which include cities, towns, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, and Sanitary Improvement Districts.
In addition to energy reduction, LED streetlights have lifespans that are about four times longer than the previous lights. They provide better visibility for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and the brighter lights help to deter crime.
Other board business
At today’s meeting, directors also:
- Approved the October 2018 comprehensive financial and operating reports, November 15, 2018, meeting minutes, and the Dec. 13, 2018, agenda.
- Approved the adoption of a resolution that allows the district to maintain the option of issuing tax-exempt debt obligations to reimburse 2019 capital expenditures and maximize the investment of the proceeds.
- Accepted the monitoring reports for Board Policy: Strategic Directive (SD) 11, relating to economic development and Board Policy: SD-4, related to reliability. The board evaluates all board policies on an annual basis. They received a monitoring report for SD-11 during their committee meeting Tuesday. Acceptance means the board finds the district to be sufficiently in compliance with the policy.
- Awarded a transmission contract for construction services to Watts Electric Company for the rebuild of a 161kV transmission line and the cutting of a 69kV transmission line into a substation, in the amount of $783,622.
- Awarded a multi-year 345kV power circuit breaker contract to ABB, Inc., in support of upcoming and future substations projects.
- Awarded a substation contract to Dezort, Inc. in the amount of $1,530,154 for construction of 161kV foundation, ducts and grounding work to support the development of a new substation.
- Amended and restated the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement between OPPD, Douglas County, Pottawattamie County, Sarpy County and Washington County for the provisioning of a shared land mobile radio system and the addition of Sarpy County as a participating member.
- Approved resolutions of appreciation for outgoing board members Tom Barrett, Mick Mines and Mark Treinen.
- Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view that report after it is posted by visiting oppd.com/board meeting.
Next month’s board committee meetings will start at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15. The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, Jan. 17, at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place at OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha. The meetings also are livestreamed at oppd.com.