OPPD Awards Contract For Design And Construction Of New Power Plants

Nebraska's Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) on Oct. 4 said that it has made a key selection for its Power with Purpose project, which will add 400 to 600 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar and 600 MW of natural gas to OPPD’s generation portfolio.

The utility awarded an engineer, procure, and construct (EPC) contract to Zachry Group. The company will be responsible for the design and construction of both of OPPD’s new natural gas generation facilities -- Standing Bear Lake Station, a 150 MW facility in Douglas County, and Turtle Creek Station, a 450 MW facility in Sarpy County – as well as their associated substations. Both of these plants are peaking plants.

The solar and gas generation capacity that the Power with Purpose project will build “supports reliability and resiliency of the system as our communities grow, while significantly positioning OPPD on a path to meet its net zero carbon goal in 2050,” OPPD noted.

Preliminary grading at both natural gas generation sites related to the project has begun and major construction is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2022.

In July, OPPD announced two other contracts related to Power with Purpose. The utility selected Siemens Energy to provide two combustion turbines to power the 450 MW Turtle Creek Station, a simple-cycle turbine facility. This facility will be in commercial operation by late summer of 2023.

OPPD also selected nine Wartsila reciprocating internal combustion engines to power the 150 MW Standing Bear Lake Station. Standing Bear Lake Station will be in commercial operation by late spring of 2023.

In a recent episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast, Javier Fernandez, President and CEO of OPPD, provided details on the Power with Purpose project and discussed how the project fits in with his overall vision for OPPD’s future generation mix.