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News Releases : OPPD customers embracing programs, pilots to help manage their energy usage

Omaha Public Power District is leading the way the future is powered. The district has a number of customer program offerings to support that vision and provided an update to the OPPD Board of Directors at today’s monthly meeting.

Community Solar Program

OPPD launched its first community solar program this spring with an agreement to purchase all 5 megawatts (MW) of energy from an array that’s under construction in the City of Fort Calhoun. The facility will be owned and operated by NextEra Energy. Construction was delayed due to the recent floods, but it is expected to be completed and generating electricity by mid-August at the latest.

Starting March 19, OPPD’s residential customers had the opportunity to sign up for shares of solar power. OPPD had planned to open up enrollment to commercial and industrial customers after three months. However, the program proved to be more popular than OPPD anticipated. By May 4, all 8,403 available shares had been purchased by 872 residential customers. While the utility weighs its renewable energy options for the future, it’s opened up a wait list at oppd.com/communitysolarprogram. Those still interested in purchasing solar shares can sign up for them if or when they become available.

Electric Vehicle (EV) Rebate Pilot

OPPD is continuing to promote EV adoption in its service territory. The utility launched an EV Rebate Pilot last year as part of an initiative to promote EV education and usage, and to study the impact of the growing technology on OPPD’s system. Rebates were so successful, OPPD told the board, they will be offered again beginning May 17.

  • A $2,500 rebate is available to customers after the purchase of a new all-electric vehicle in addition to a ChargePointTM home charging station.
  • Customers can receive a $500 rebate for the purchase of just a ChargePointTM home charging station. These funds are available through a partnership between OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance.
  • Point-of-sale vehicle discounts are also available to OPPD customers through Audi and Nissan, as added incentives.

To learn more about these offerings, visit oppd.com/EVrebates.

In addition, OPPD is working on a “Test & Learn” program with local businesses. Six public charging stations will be installed, which will help the utility learn more about consumer charging habits, while providing added convenience for EV owners.

Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Pilot

OPPD also shared with directors the new Income-Qualified Energy Efficiency Pilot, designed to increase energy efficiency education and home upgrades for low-income customers. Through the pilot, the utility hopes to increase customer access to available energy-reducing products and services through partnerships with non-profit agencies throughout its service territory. The district is also working to reach segments of its income-qualified customers it has not reached previously. The goal is to help these customers achieve energy savings and as a result, lower utility costs.

LED streetlight conversion

OPPD continues on its five-year plan to convert the nearly 100,000 streetlights in its service territory to light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Directors received an update on progress made so far as work intensifies along heavily traveled roadways.

As of May 13, 6,757 streetlights had been converted since late last year. This includes 2,320 upgrades as a result of calls of older bulbs burning out, as well as 3,381 along major traffic thoroughfares, and 1,047 in rural areas. Read The Wire for more information on how these initial replacement locations have been determined.

Streetlight customers, including the state, cities, towns and SIDs, should see a reduction in their energy costs of about 25%, once the new technology is installed.

Other action

In other actions, directors:

  • Approved the March 2019 Comprehensive Financial and Operating Report, the April 2019 meeting minutes, and the May 16, 2019, board agenda.
  • Authorized OPPD to negotiate and enter into a contract with PW Power Systems, Inc. for repair of the Sarpy County Station Unit 5A engine.
  • Authorized OPPD to negotiate and enter into a contract for the supply of parts, as well as the repair, of the Sarpy County Station Unit 1 engine.
  • Conducted an annual performance review for President & CEO Timothy J. Burke and approved a compensation adjustment in the amount of 4.5%, bringing his salary to $566,368.
  • Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view this report after it is posted by visiting oppd.com/boardmeeting.

Next meetings

The public portion of next month’s committee meetings will be held starting at 10 a.m., June 18 at Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha.

If a closed session is needed to discuss sensitive information such as legal or personnel matters in private, committee meetings generally will begin at 8:30 a.m., with a vote to go into closed session immediately. The public portion of the meeting will continue after closed-session is completed, at approximately 10 a.m. There may be months where this process is changed, but any such change will be addressed in the official public notice for the meeting.

The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, June 18, at 4 p.m., also at Energy Plaza.

Both of these meetings are livestreamed at oppd.com as part of the district’s commitment to transparency, while making public meetings accessible and convenient for our customer-owners.