“Behind the Outlet” public open houses focus on Nebraska’s future energy mix

March 19, 2012

What will Nebraska Public Power District’s future electric generation mix look like? Will coal-fired and nuclear power generation facilities remain NPPD’s low-cost mainstay for generating electricity? How much renewable energy is on the horizon? Which environmental regulations will have the greatest impact on consumers in terms of quality of life and cost?

Over the next few weeks, NPPD will be giving Nebraskans an inside look at how it plans for future electric generation resources through a series of five “Behind the Outlet” open houses being conducted across the state. The public events will show what goes on “behind the outlet” in generating low-cost, reliable, and sustainable electricity for Nebraskans. NPPD will also be sharing the preliminary results of a study underway about its generation resources and seek opinions as to what its energy portfolio could or should look like in the future.

The open house sessions, which will run from 2 to 8 p.m., will be held at the following locations:

  • Monday, March 26 – Scottsbluff/Gering, Gering Civic Center, 1050 M Street
  • Tuesday, March 27 – North Platte, Sandhills Convention Center, 2102 S. Jeffers
  • Wednesday, April 25 – Kearney, Holiday Inn, 110 Second Avenue
  • Thursday, April 26 – Lincoln, Cornhusker Marriott Hotel, 333 S. 13th Street
  • Thursday, May 2 – Norfolk, Divots Conference Center, 4200 W. Norfolk Avenue

The public is welcome to attend any time during the open house hours, and should allow for a minimum of an hour to go through the stations and interact with NPPD personnel manning the stations.

“Our Board, customers and subject matter experts have spent the past eight months analyzing the benefits and challenges of investing in additional environmental equipment at NPPD’s coal-fired facilities,” said NPPD President and CEO Pat Pope. The study also looked at the costs and benefits of increasing the amount of power generated at Cooper Nuclear Station. The analysis focused on the major drivers of future electricity costs, such as environmental regulations, and how much electricity will need to be generated to serve NPPD’s customers in 20 years.

“NPPD is required to have a long-term resource plan, and because Nebraska is a public power state, it must include the least-cost options,” Pope added.

The study is part of NPPD’s responsibility as one of states generating utilities to maintain a long-term Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), and meet the customers’ need for electric energy in 20 years. The objective of the IRP process is to secure the lowest long-term electricity cost consistent with the quantity and quality of electric service required by customers.

“NPPD modeled thousands of scenarios and every resource plan included up to 20 percent energy efficiency and renewable energy resources,” Pope explained. Although no decision has been made by the Board of Directors – and won’t be made until early 2013 – the study’s preliminary results show, in order to maintain the lowest-cost, electric generation and meet customer demand for electricity, NPPD should:

  • Continue generating some of its electricity using coal,
  • Invest in additional long-term emission control equipment, and
  • Increase the power generated using nuclear fuel.

NPPD will also be accepting feedback on what Nebraskans feel should be part of their future energy generation mix. Feedback can be submitted to GOAinput@nppd.com located at www.nppd.com/behindtheoutlet. Comments received will be included as part of the IRP.

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