Long-term generation resource plan gains NPPD Board approval

June 14, 2013

Columbus, Neb. – On Friday of its June meeting, the Nebraska Public Power District’s Board of Directors gave approval to the 2013 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), a strategic tool the Board and management will use to guide decisions regarding NPPD’s future generation resources.

The IRP is a long-term (five to 30 years) resource planning tool identifying a preferred future mix of electric power generation and energy efficiency/conservation resources. As a plan, it is intended to predict and meet future electric load, minimize costs and risks, while anticipating and meeting changing regulatory and market conditions.

NPPD has an obligation to plan how it will meet its customers’ future electric power needs, as their demand for electricity continues to grow.

NPPD held numerous public meetings in early 2013 specifically to gather feedback from the public on the plan. NPPD’s website was also used as a method to gather public input, with comments addressed and incorporated into the IRP, as appropriate. A year earlier, NPPD conducted 10 public open houses on its precursory Generation Options Analysis, gathering more than 1,000 comments from interested individuals.

“Over the past two years, NPPD has received valuable input from our wholesale utility partners, our retail customers, and the public. We appreciate the interest of all who have taken the time to give us their thoughts,” commented Pat Pope, NPPD president and CEO.

NPPD’s 2013 Preferred Resource Plan, as identified in the IRP, includes an extended power uprate of 146 megawatts from Cooper Nuclear Station, as well as the addition of multi-pollutant control equipment at Gerald Gentleman Station, if required in the future. Continued operation of Sheldon Station also appears beneficial, unless expensive multi-pollutant control equipment is required.

“The IRP is not a commitment to install additional resources,” continued Pope. “We do so when necessary. Rather, it is a roadmap with signposts which help us reassess our direction when it comes to which sources we should use to generate reliable and economical electricity.

“The last two years of study have indicated NPPD should retain a diverse mix of generation resources – nuclear, coal, wind, solar, hydro, and natural gas, while also emphasizing energy efficiency with our customers throughout the state.  Today, approximately 40 percent of NPPD’s energy comes from non-carbon emitting resources.”

The plans calls for increased levels of renewable generating resources and energy efficiency to meet the energy needs of NPPD’s customers, if electrical growth is higher than expected, or if significant costs on carbon dioxideemissions become a reality. An additional 100 to 200 megawatts of new natural gas-fired generation may also be needed by 2032.

The plan meets Nebraska State Statute requirements, as well as a contractual arrangement with the  Western Area Power Administration. NPPD has a long-term power supply contract with WAPA and is required to submit an IRP every five years to the federal agency, based on the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

The IRP is available to the public at http://www.nppd.com/irp/.