The Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors moved a vote on the proposed near-term generation resource plan to its August meeting. (The July board meetings previously were canceled.)
Following discussion at its all-committees meeting, the proposal was removed from the list of action items for this evening’s board meeting. By moving the vote, the board’s Systems Committee has more time to further evaluate the upcoming planned work in the context of anticipated revisions to Strategic Directive (SD) 9: Integrated Systems Planning.
During Tuesday’s all-committees meeting, Systems Committee Chair Craig Moody expressed gratitude for the solid resource planning work that went into the utility’s recommendation. He noted that any technical questions board members had have been answered.
“I want to thank the team that has worked tirelessly on this for months and months,” he said. “It was exceptionally well done.”
OPPD’s solution to meet the near-future generation needs of our thriving communities would require an estimated capital investment of more than $2 billion and would nearly double the district’s nameplate capacity, or maximum rated generation output, by 2030.
“The generation growth reflected in this plan is unprecedented,” said OPPD President & CEO Javier Fernandez. “We understand the board’s desire to move forward with a thoughtful framework that supports both the portfolio execution and provides mechanisms for governance and accountability. We will work closely with the board as we lead up to the anticipated vote in August.”
OPPD remains committed to its Power with Purpose (PwP) generation expansion projects. To date, these include Turtle Creek Station (450 megawatts or MW), Standing Bear Lake Station (150 MW), and Platteview Solar (81 MW), with more renewables coming. In addition to this, the utility proposes adding:
- 1,000 to 1,500 MW of renewables (wind and solar), which includes PwP generation that has yet to be sourced
- Up to 125 MW of battery storage (four-hour equivalent)
- 600 to 950 MW of natural gas-fueled resources
- 32 MW or more of demand response (shifting or shedding electricity)
- Approximately 320 MW of added fuel capacity and fuel oil storage at existing generation facilities to provide additional accredited winter capacity and system resiliency)
While this resource plan will take approximately a decade to execute, when all the resources are operating, it is estimated that more than 90% of new load would be served by renewable sources with the recommended additions, according to OPPD’s current projections. The utility remains committed to previously announced plans for North Omaha Station, including retiring its older units (1-3), which were converted from coal to natural gas in 2016, and converting units 4-5 to natural gas-only fuel. The only change recommended at that site is to potentially add battery storage resources.
Strategic directive monitoring reports
At their meeting tonight, the board accepted the monitoring report for SD-2: Rates. Among other requirements, SD-2 directs OPPD to pursue a directional rate target of 10% below the average published rates of the seven states that compose the North Central Region, on a system average basis.
The latest available data available (through 2021) put OPPD’s total system average at 10.2% below the North Central Regional average. Residential rates are at 9.5% lower than the North Central Region average and continuing a positive trajectory toward the board’s target. The utility’s average rates across all rate classes were 19.4% lower than the national average.
The board also accepted the monitoring report for SD-15: Enterprise Risk Management. By accepting both monitoring reports, the board finds the utility to be sufficiently in compliance with the directives.
In other action, directors:
- Approved the January through April 2023 Financial Reports, May 2023 meeting minutes and the June 15, 2023, agenda.
- Reviewed and approved the annual report on OPPD’s health plan for employees.
- Approved a five-year agreement with FORVIS for external auditing services. The utility’s previous agreement with FORVIS expired following 2022 audits. The new agreement covers the fiscal years 2023 through 2027.
- Approved the sale of surplus property located near 43rd and Center Streets in Omaha.
- Awarded a contract in the amount of $1,078,993, to Altitude Energy LLC for construction services to erect and assemble equipment for a new 161-kilovolt (kV) substation to support load growth and reliability in the Douglas County area. Construction will begin in August 2023 and conclude in February 2024.
- Authorized OPPD management to enter into a negotiated contract for the design and supply of replacement 13.8-kV generator protection relays for Jones Street Station Units 1 & 2 and Sarpy County Station Units 1 & 2.
- Approved the Engineer’s Certification and authorized OPPD management to negotiate and enter into a contract or contracts for the replacement or refurbishment of parts and specialized services to repair the Sarpy County Station Unit 1 engine.
- Received the monthly President’s Report, available at OPPD.com/BoardMeeting.
Next board meetings
The next all-committees meeting will be held in-person Tuesday, August 15, at 10 a.m. at Blue Cross Blue Shield, 1919 Aksarben Dr., as well as virtually, via Webex. The meeting link will be available at OPPD.com/CommitteeAgenda, beginning about 9:45 a.m.
The next board meeting is Thursday, August 17, at 5 p.m., both in-person at the Legislative Chamber of the Omaha Civic Center, 1819 Farnam St., as well as virtually via Webex. The public can attend virtually by accessing the meeting link and instructions at OPPD.com/BoardAgenda, beginning at 4:45 p.m.