September 21, 2023
Electricity is an integral part of our daily lives. Omaha Public Power District continually works to ensure the power is there when our customers need it, and we do that through integrated systems planning.
During committee meetings for the OPPD Board of Directors this week, utility leadership presented their annual monitoring report for Strategic Directive (SD) 9: Integrated Systems Planning.
“We are always planning to ensure we have adequate generation resources to meet the growing energy needs of our customers,” said Colton Kennedy, director of Energy Portfolio Planning for OPPD. “As we do this, we’re adapting to a rapidly changing industry and an increasingly complex grid.”
Kennedy talked about the importance of ensuring not only reliability, but also resiliency of the electric system so it can withstand and bounce back from a major event like a strong storm. The utility works on a local level and a regional level to minimize risks posed by weather – whether it’s wind-damaged infrastructure, low energy production, or high energy usage.
“Resource adequacy modeling simulates the capability of OPPD’s resources to meet electric demands under a large range of weather conditions, renewable production scenarios, and more.”
OPPD is part of the Southwest Power Pool, which ensures sufficient resources are available regionally to reliably serve electric demand. As a member, OPPD is required to have generation capacity to meet its peak demand plus a planning reserve margin. This margin is currently set for 15% in the summer (up from 12%), and it’s expected to increase in the coming years.
The district will add 2.5 gigawatts of new generation to the grid within the next decade. But the process to bring new generation facilities online takes much longer than it used to, Kennedy said.
“Planning requires much more lead time with supply chain issues continuing to impact equipment procurement and a grid interconnection backlog. It could take five to eight years to get a new project online.”
At this evening’s monthly board meeting, directors accepted the SD-9 monitoring report, finding the utility to be sufficiently in compliance with the directive for the period prior to the board’s revision of the policy last month. Going forward, the utility must provide quarterly updates on the development of new system resources and engage the board in key decisions. The utility must also create a timeline for near-term generation additions approved by the board in August.
Directors also accepted the SD-10: Ethics monitoring report, finding the utility to be sufficiently in compliance with the board policy. This directive is designed to ensure that OPPD maintains public trust and confidence in the integrity and ethical conduct of its board and employees.
In other action, directors:
- Approved the July 2023 financial report, August 2023 meeting minutes and the September 21, 2023, agenda.
- Conducted and discussed annual CEO and corporate officer performance reviews. Directors also approved annual compensation adjustments.
- Accepted updates to rate rider schedules numbers 467, 467H, and 467L to enhance customer choice and facilitate greater customer participation in reducing peak energy usage. To view revisions, click here.
- Authorized the utility’s use of eminent domain, if necessary, to acquire permanent and temporary easements for electric transmission facilities on approved projects, including the Bennington expansion substation and transmission line rebuild, and the transmission line expansion and new substation at 114th and State streets, to support load growth and reliability in the northern Douglas County area. Such proceedings would only be used after all reasonable efforts have been made to acquire easements voluntarily.
- Awarded a contract to Midwest Infrastructure in the amount of $1,198,788, to provide materials and labor for substation foundations, ductlines, and miscellaneous work to support the development of a new substation to support load growth in Douglas County. Construction is scheduled to begin in October 2023 and conclude in December 2023.
- Authorized OPPD management to reject proposals received for labor to replace the North Omaha Station Unit 5 air preheater baskets and seals, as well as labor to replace the Nebraska City Station Unit 1 air preheater baskets and seals, and for OPPD management to enter into a negotiated contract for these scopes of work.
- Authorized OPPD management to reject all proposals for Nebraska City Station Unit 1 HCV-15 installation labor and to enter into a negotiated contract for this work.
- Approved the Engineer’s Certification and authorization for OPPD management to negotiate and enter into a contract with ABB for replacement of Nebraska City Station Unit 1 distributed control system power supplies.
- Approved the Engineer’s Certification requesting that the board waive the sealed bidding process, and authorized management to negotiate and enter into a contract or contracts for the replacement of parts and specialized services to repair of the Jones Street Station Unit 2 engine.
- Approved the 2024 board meeting schedule.
- 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, October 17, 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 monthly board meeting is Thursday, October 19, at 5 p.m., both in-person at the Legislative Chamber of the Omaha-Douglas 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.