OPPD awards 20-year PPA for 5-MW community solar facility

Omaha Public Power District’s plans for community solar are moving forward, with the district on June 7 saying it has awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement to a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC to build a 5-megawatt solar facility near the City of Fort Calhoun.

During its monthly meeting, the OPPD Board of Directors received an update on the project.

When the community solar program has been finalized, OPPD customers will have an opportunity to purchase shares of the solar energy produced. The utility will be developing the marketing of these solar shares in the next few months and will include stakeholder outreach as part of this process.

OPPD said that it received 105 community solar proposals from 10 developers. The district narrowed those down to 33 proposals from seven developers, making the short list for this project. The proposal from NextEra Energy Resources stood out due to the company’s experience, reputation, flexibility, and environmental sensitivity, OPPD noted.

The facility will encompass approximately 35 acres and, per contract terms, the facility will go into operation by June 30, 2019.

Wind power

The solar project adds to OPPD’s growing renewable energy portfolio.

In 2017, OPPD said that a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources will build the 160-MW 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 notes on its website that it has purchase power agreements with several Nebraska wind farms, scattered across the state from north-central to southeast.