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News Releases : OPPD Board of Directors seeking public input on utility’s environmental stewardship goals

The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors is seeking public input on a proposed amendment to its strategic directive (SD) on environmental stewardship, recognizing the threats posed by climate change.

Environmental Stewardship (SD-7) is among 15 strategic directives the board has provided the utility to give it clear and transparent direction, on behalf of its customer-owners. These policies guide OPPD’s strategic and operational planning efforts to address current and future trends, mitigate risks, pursue strategic opportunities, and prioritize resources. OPPD is aligned, across the district, to be accountable to performance expectations related to the various directives.

A proposed amendment to SD-7 would add the following verbiage: The OPPD Board of Directors recognizes the scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, from human activity contribute to climate change impacts.

The last time the directive was revised was in November of 2019.

The full context to the proposed change to SD-7, as well as a comment form, are viewable on OPPDCommunityConnect.com. The public may offer comment on the proposed change until May 14, 2021

Monitoring reports

During its regular monthly meeting today, the board discussed and accepted the monitoring report for SD-1: Strategic Foundation.

Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Governance Scott Focht reported that, throughout 2020, the board found OPPD to be “sufficiently in compliance” with 13 of 15 strategic directives. The district was determined to be “taking reasonable and appropriate measures to comply with…” SD-12, Information Management and Security. For SD-5, Customer Satisfaction, a change in external survey timing led to a postponement of that directive’s monitoring report.

In addition, the board discussed and accepted the monitoring report for SD-4: Reliability.

Vice President of Energy Production & Nuclear Decommissioning Mary Fisher joined Vice President of Energy Delivery Troy Via to present a detailed background on the regulations and metrics that comprise OPPD’s electrical reliability standards.

Reviewing 2020 power generation performance and plant equipment availability, Fisher discussed the value of preventive maintenance and comprehensive inspection programs in fulfilling customer power needs, as well as regulatory requirements.

Via reported OPPD’s System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), a nationally recognized availability standard, continued its positive trend, with customers experiencing total outage durations of 86.4 minutes per year. This is top-quartile performance, attributed in part to vegetation management and proactive cable-replacement programs.

The board also discussed and accepted the monitoring report for SD-5: Customer Satisfaction.

Vice President of Customer Service Juli Comstock reported on the district’s various methods of obtaining feedback from customers and measuring levels of satisfaction. She noted a continued positive trend in the JD Power Associates residential customer satisfaction index ratings, a metric confirmed by OPPD’s internal tracking results and relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Votes to accept these monitoring reports means the board approves the utility’s compliance with the directives, as stated.

CEO succession planning

Today, the board also shared a progress report on CEO succession plans, with President Timothy J. Burke retiring July 2.

Directors discussed feedback they received from more than 1,000 stakeholders, including employees and other customers, as well as community leaders, about what they would like to see in the utility’s next chief executive officer. The board asked for this input during its monthly meeting in March, and surveys were submitted at OPPDCommunityConnect.com. Comments were also received via OPPD.com. The deadline to provide feedback was April 6.

Board members will now identify up to four internal candidates for the position, and candidate interviews will take place over the next several weeks. In May and/or June, the public will be invited to virtual “meet and greet” sessions for the final candidates. The board will then make and communicate a final decision. Onboarding for and transition to the next CEO will occur from June to July 1.

The utility and its board remain committed to communicating with the public across various platforms throughout this process.

Other action

In other action, directors: 

  • Approved the January and February 2021 Comprehensive Financial and Operating Reports, March 2021 meeting minutes and the April 15, 2021 agenda.
  • Approved amendments to 1990 and 1992 decommissioning trust agreements. This clarifies the Treasury Officers authorized to take actions under the 1992 Trust Agreement, which was established to ensure funds were available to pay for the costs of decommissioning OPPD’s Fort Calhoun Station that were not covered by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission-mandated trust fund (the 1990 Decommissioning Trust  Agreement).
  • Approved revisions to the audit subcommittee charter, changing the name of the “Finance, Insurance and Audit Committee” to instead simply the “Finance Committee.”
  • Received the monthly President’s Report. You can view this report by visiting OPPD.com/BoardMeeting.

Next meetings

Next month, the board’s public all-committees meeting will be held virtually, starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 18. To attend, please visit OPPD.com/CommitteeAgenda, and follow the Webex audio/video conferencing directions.

The next monthly board meeting will be held Thursday, May 20, beginning at 5 p.m. on the Legislative Level of the Omaha Douglas County Civic Center, 1819 Farnam St. However, virtual attendance is encouraged for physical distancing. To join virtually via Webex, please visit OPPD.com/BoardAgenda.

Addendum

OPPD is hosting a series of virtual workshops outlining its Pathways to Decarbonization Study, giving the public an insight and technical "deep dive" on how the district is exploring ways its future power generation portfolio can support OPPD's goal of being a net-zero carbon utility by 2050, while maintaining affordable, reliable, environmentally sensitive energy services for customers. 

Additional information, recordings of prior workshops, and event registration links are all available on OPPDCommunityConnect.com. Upcoming public workshops are April 28, May 12 and May 26, each beginning at 4 p.m.