Community Engagement

OPPD adds more wind power supplies to its portfolio

With the addition of a new wind power facility, Nebraska's Omaha Public Power District on July 13 said that it is projected to provide approximately 40 percent of its generation from renewable energy sources when the facility comes online, which is currently scheduled to occur in late 2019.

OPPD President and CEO Tim Burke talked about the plans at the district's Board of Directors meeting.

A subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will build the 160-megawatt Sholes wind facility in Wayne County, Nebraska. Construction is slated to begin in March 2019 and it is expected to be operational by December 2019.

OPPD will purchase 100 percent of the facility's wind energy as part of a 20-year agreement.

OPPD said that the latest wind energy agreement aligns with the district's Integrated Resource Plan, and demonstrates OPPD's continued commitment to Board Policy: Strategic Directive (SD)-9 and Board Policy: Strategic Directive (SD)-7, relating to resource planning and environmental stewardship, respectively.

Burke said OPPD will continue to pursue more renewables in the future, as well, at the pace of value for the district's customer-owners.

OPPD notes on its website that it has purchase power agreements with several Nebraska wind farms, scattered across the state from north-central to southeast.

Also, in response to customer interest in solar-powered generation, OPPD is evaluating the potential for a community solar energy project.

"OPPD will continue to assess solar programs, while balancing our mission to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to our customers," it said.

OPPD's innovative rate brings new Facebook data center to Nebraska

OPPD in early April detailed how it played a key role in helping to bring a new Facebook data center to Papillion, Neb.

The district's rate plan, Rate 261M, "is a unique and powerful example of how OPPD works to meet the needs of large companies, particularly those who seek more renewable energy, while bringing broader economic benefits to all of its 369,500 customer-owners," OPPD said in an April 4 news release.

At the American Public Power Association's national conference in June, 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.