Powering Strong Communities

Lincoln Electric System board adopts 100% net decarbonization goal by 2040

The administrative board of Nebraska public power utility Lincoln Electric System (LES) on Nov. 20 adopted a 100% net decarbonization goal by 2040.

“LES acknowledges that the emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel-fired power generating plants contribute to increased concentration levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which in turn contributes to climate change,” LES said in a news release. The board adopted this goal in response to the risks associated with climate change.

The board’s action came after participating in a year-long educational series on establishing a new carbon reduction goal and soliciting public opinion at the beginning of the month.

In 2019, the mayor of Lincoln began developing a new Climate Action Plan for the community. The board “recognized its role in helping to achieve a community goal while also maintaining high levels of electric system reliability and affordable retail electric rates to every customer in the area,” LES said.

In October, the city released a draft of its Climate Action Plan, in which a citywide goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, relative to 2011 levels, was announced.

At its Nov. 20 meeting, the LES Administrative Board committed to striving to mitigate its reliance on fossil fuels by establishing a goal to achieve net zero carbon dioxide production from its generation portfolio by 2040.

Moving forward, LES staff will continue its ongoing process of technological and financial evaluations to make prudent resource planning decisions.

Additional information is available here.

Another Nebraska public power utility, Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), has begun a decarbonization study to understand how it can make progress toward its goal of net-zero carbon production by 2050.

Meanwhile, based on a two-year rolling average from 2018 and 2019, 61% of the electricity that Nebraska public power utility Nebraska Public Power District provides to its customers is carbon-free “thanks to powerhouses like nuclear and green energy sources like solar, hydropower and wind,” wrote NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent in a blog this past summer.

“We’re participating in carbon capture and sequestration studies funded in part through a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. And this year, we were granted the authority to pursue the development of innovative carbon-free and carbon-neutral fuels,” Kent wrote.

“It speaks to our willingness to not just listen to and accommodate customer expectations for low-cost, reliable and sustainable energy sources, but also to take it upon ourselves to move toward further reducing our carbon footprint and adapting to this growing trend,” Kent said.