Google on Oct. 4 announced plans to build a $600 million data center in Papillion, Neb., making it the second company to take advantage of an Omaha Public Power District rate designed to help meet the needs of large-power, high voltage transmission-level customers.
Facebook, whose Papillion Data Center went live this past June, was the first company to utilize OPPD’s Rate 261M.
In 2017, the OPPD board of directors approved Rate 261M in 2017 to help meet the needs of large-power, high voltage transmission-level customers, particularly those seeking more renewable energy and needing the ability to access the market for the energy component of their bill.
In addition, the rate was designed with the goal of bringing broader economic benefit to all of its 380,000 OPPD customer owners.
In 2017, OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke said that OPPD’s collaboration with Facebook offers an example of how Facebook can work with public power to create economic development and value throughout the country.
OPPD noted that Google’s data center will be just down the road from Facebook, along the Nebraska Highway 50 corridor. Construction of Google’s data center is currently underway.
“Google’s investment brings significant economic benefits to the communities OPPD serves. And data centers, in general, provide steady, reliable electricity demand, which helps keep rates low for all utility customers,” OPPD said. “Growth in this area, in addition to other factors, have helped OPPD maintain its commitment to no general rate increase through 2021,” the public power utility said.
OPPD said that over the past decade, it has worked to proactively identify potential development sites, including the Highway 50 corridor, to ensure the site selections have the electric infrastructure in place to handle growth. The infrastructure investments, including the Sarpy Transmission Project, benefit all OPPD customers by maintaining reliable service, it said.
OPPD said its economic development team continues to receive inquiries from others interested in expanding within OPPD’s service territory.
Google unveiled major solar power agreement with TVA
At the start of 2019, Google said it planned to purchase the output of several new solar farms for Google data center campuses under construction in Tennessee and Northern Alabama as part of a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Located in Hollywood, Alabama and Yum Yum, Tennessee, the two biggest solar farms will be able to produce around 150 MW each. These solar sites will be among the largest renewable energy projects in the Tennessee Valley region, and the largest solar farms ever to be built for Google.