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News Releases : Big move starts this week in the construction of OPPD’s new natural gas generation balancing plants

Omaha Public Power District is taking a big step forward with the construction of two new natural gas generation balancing plants in service of our mission to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to our customers.

The plants are part of the utility’s Power with Purpose (PwP) initiative to add a total of 1,200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar and natural gas generation. These natural gas generation plants will be used as needed, per market conditions (estimated to be about 15% of the time). OPPD’s diverse energy mix will help us power our growing communities, prioritizing reliability and resiliency, while continuing our commitment to net zero carbon by 2050. 

Big move coming

Beginning tonight and over the next couple of weeks, OPPD will be working with contractors to transport nine Wärtsilä reciprocating internal combustion engines to the Standing Bear Lake Station, near 114th & Military Rd. One engine will be moved at a time, with activity occurring later in the evening and going into the overnight hours.


Photo courtesy of Wärtsilä

Specialized large equipment movers will be utilized for this effort. Loaded on a trailer, the equipment measures approximately 248’ long by 14’ wide and 19’ tall. The trailer and engine combined will weigh in at 796,000 pounds. These engines were shipped from Italy and then shipped by rail to Nebraska.

Such a massive move will require some road closures for a brief period of time overnight as the equipment travels along its journey. OPPD and the large equipment movers have coordinated with city, county and state officials, as well as members of law enforcement, to ensure the safety of the public and workers along the route.

Photos of this type of engine as well as one loaded on a trailer are available to newsrooms upon request to Jodi Baker, jmbaker@oppd.com, for use with a courtesy to OPPD.

Safety first

While such a big move will certainly pique interest, we ask that the public refrain from approaching employees, contractors or vehicles. Please stay a safe distance back, off of streets, so we can complete this important work. Obey all traffic signs and law enforcement officers, who will be stationed at various locations to assist in this process.

Staying Connected

As part of our public power promise and continued stakeholder communication, OPPD is committed to keeping our customers informed of our Standing Bear Lake Station progress. Please visit OPPDCommunityConnect.com for project updates. Through the website, you can contact the team with any questions.