Irrigation Load Management

The demand for energy increases in the summer months when temperatures rise, air conditioners hum and farmers begin irrigating.

According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, Nebraska has the most irrigated acres in America. And between 85 and 90 percent of the state’s irrigated land is in NPPD’s service territory.

NPPD helps reduce the costs associated with spikes in the demand for energy through our load management and energy efficiency, conservation program, but they would not be effective without the participation of our wholesale customers.

Why are we excited about this?

Because of our wholesale utility partners and their irrigation customers, NPPD’s management program is one of the best in the United States. Our billable demand and energy curtailment programs can send price signals which prompt them to make changes as to when they use energy. Through these programs, NPPD and its customers have been able to reduce approximately 600 megawatts (MW) of power normally used or needed at peak times.

For more than 40 years, the connected irrigation horsepower served by NPPD has grown from 300,554 hp in 1970 to 2,349,283 in 2017. That’s a 4.47 percent annual growth rate.

In 2014, 517 megawatts of irrigation load was curtailed at the time of the District’s system peak. To reduce approximately 600 MW of load from our system is a big deal.  600 MW is the size of a typical power plant – one we do not have to build or operate because of our programs and partnership with customers.