Omaha Public Power District is committed to competitive rates, and that is reflected in the proposed Corporate Operating Plan (COP) for 2019.
The preliminary proposal contains no general rate increase for the third consecutive year and calls for no increase in the Fuel and Purchased Power Adjustment (FPPA). The FPPA appears as a separate line item on customers’ bills. Like many electric utilities, OPPD uses the FPPA as needed to address costs outside of its control, such as fluctuating costs for fuel and for power it buys on the market.
Javier Fernandez, vice president of Financial Services and chief financial officer, presented the preliminary 2019 COP to the board at its monthly meeting today.
“All areas of the company have pulled together to develop this thoughtful proposal for 2019,” said Fernandez.
As reflected in both the 2018 and 2019 COPs, three major transmission projects are taking shape, as well, due to continued growth in the area.
In addition, the nearly $1.2 billion proposed budget for next year demonstrates OPPD’s commitment to renewable energy, which continues to grow. The district has both wind and solar projects coming online in 2019:
- Sholes Wind Energy Center will add 160 megawatts (MW) of wind energy to OPPD’s portfolio, bringing retail sales from renewables to about 40 percent.
- A community solar project will provide 5 MW when operational in summer 2019 through a 20-year power purchase agreement contract with NextEra Energy Resources. The facility will be located east of the city of Fort Calhoun.
The preliminary COP is available for review and comment on oppd.com. Directors will vote on a finalized COP proposal at their Dec. 13 board meeting.
FCS Decommissioning update
As a result of employees’ contributions to decommissioning work at Fort Calhoun Station, OPPD is transitioning to the DECON decommissioning method, a faster more economical approach. It is expected to save up to $200 million in the long-term, while reducing overall risk.
Today, the board authorized OPPD to finalize negotiations and award a contract in support of an OPPD-led DECON strategy. FCS employees will lead the DECON work, advised and supported by the contractor. This approach enables OPPD to leverage its talent and institutional knowledge.
OPPD currently estimates that the DECON project will be completed in 2028.
Strategic Directive 7, environmental stewardship
The board also approved revisions to Board Policy: Strategic Directive 7 (SD-7), related to environmental stewardship.
The final version sets a long-term goal of OPPD providing at least 50 percent of its retail energy from renewable resources, as well as a target of 20 percent reduction in carbon intensity from 2010 levels by the year 2030.
The board solicited public feedback while making revisions. Their acceptance of the final draft was made with that feedback in mind.
Other board business
At today’s meeting, directors also:
- Approved the September 2018 comprehensive financial and operating reports, October 11, 2018 meeting minutes, and the November 15, 2018 agenda.
- Approved salary adjustments in the amount of 3 percent merit for the following corporate officers. Adjustments were applied to salaries to ensure competitiveness within the market, as well as increased accountability and work scope.
- Vice President Kate Brown (bringing salary to $337,581)
- Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Javier Fernandez (bringing salary to $364,496)
- Vice President Mary Fisher (bringing salary to $323,400)
- Vice President Mart Sedky (bringing salary to $301,916)
- Authorized OPPD to negotiate and enter into a contract in the amount of $1,288,100 with Babcock and Wilcox Company for equipment and controls to replace the furnace water cleaning systems for steam generator systems at Nebraska City Station Units 1 and 2.
- Authorized OPPD to extend an existing contract with L.E. Myers Co., awarded April 12, 2018, for overhead distribution line upgrade and rebuild projects. The extension would allow for the first option year, and three additional one-year renewal terms, based on an annual assessment of performance and evaluation of pricing under the contract.
- Authorized OPPD to award contracts totaling $2,160,406, to Forbes Bros. Timberline Construction Inc., for construction services to add fiber optic ground wire to existing transmission structures in support of the Fiber Network Expansion project. This is a four-year effort to upgrade communications circuits currently leased from local telecommunications providers. These providers plan to discontinue support of the aging facilities, used mostly to ensure reliability and for the ability to monitor and control energy delivery facilities. The facilities will be replaced with fiber optic ground wire installed on transmission lines across OPPD’s territory. Upgrades will be completed by the end of 2020.
- Approved a resolution of appreciation for retiring Vice President Mo Doghman.
- Approved the board meeting schedule for 2019. You can access it at oppd.com.
Next month’s board committee meetings will start at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 13, 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.