A new year brings new leadership roles for the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors. At today’s monthly meeting, directors elected new officers for 2020.
Craig Moody, who represents Subdivision 5, will serve as the board chair. Rick Yoder, who represents Subdivision 4, will serve as vice chair. Amanda Bogner, who represents Subdivision 1, will be the board’s treasurer for 2020. And Eric Williams, who represents Subdivision 6 ill serve as secretary.
Annual safety report
Today, the board also discussed and accepted the monitoring report for Strategic Directive-6: Safety. Acceptance means the board finds the utility to be in sufficient compliance with the policy.
During this week’s board committee meetings, Kevin McCormick, OPPD’s senior director of Safety & Technical Training, shared how the utility continues to work in a number of areas to promote a strong safety culture. Some initiatives for 2020 include additional training for crew leaders, safety leadership training, psychological safety, ergonomics and more.
This past year, the National Safety Council named OPPD one of Nebraska’s safest companies. The utility also placed second, nationwide, for the American Public Power Association Utility Safety Award of Excellence.
Power with Purpose update
During its committee meetings, the board also received an update on OPPD’s Power with Purpose plan, approved in November. The plan includes the addition of between 400 and 600 megawatts of utility-scale solar, as well as the addition of modernized natural gas backup generation assets.
The deadline for the request for proposals (RFP) for solar generation was extended to Jan. 29. OPPD will evaluate solar bids and refine transmission and economic modeling in February and March. No selection has been made on proposals or siting.
The owner’s engineer for the solar project was selected and is working with OPPD to evaluate the solar bids, respond to questions and advise OPPD on the solar project. The owner’s engineer will serve to supplement OPPD resources and provide technical expertise for the project.
The natural gas owner’s engineer contract will be awarded in February. Development of the RFP for natural gas assets will begin in February.
OPPD expects to maintain no general rate increase from these solutions.
Fiber optic ground wire installations
The board, today, also awarded a contract to Watts Electric Company in the amount of $1,649,661 for construction services to add fiber optic ground wire to existing transmission structures. Construction will start next month and continue through May.
This is in support of the Fiber Network Expansion (FNE) project, a four-year project to upgrade communications circuits that are currently leased from local telecommunications providers who plan to discontinue their support of aging facilities.
These facilities help ensure system reliability and facilitate the ability to monitor and control OPPD’s energy delivery facilities.
In other actions, directors:
- Approved the November 2019 comprehensive financial operating report, December 2019 meeting minutes, and the Jan. 16, 2020 agenda.
- Authorized management to negotiate and enter into a contract with Emerson Process Management Power & Water Solutions Inc. (Emerson) to upgrade the existing Nebraska City Unit 2 distributed control system.
- Authorized management to negotiate and enter into a contract with Emerson to upgrade the Nebraska City Unit 2 steam turbine generator controls.
- Received the president’s monthly utility report. You can view this report after it is posted by visiting oppd.com/boardmeeting.
Next month’s board committee meetings will start at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11. The monthly board meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 13, at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place at OPPD’s Energy Plaza, 444 S. 16th St., Omaha.
The 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.