News Releases

8/11/2022
Kent appoints new VP of Customer Service and External Affairs

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) President and CEO Tom Kent recently announced changes in two executive leadership positions at the district.

As current Vice President of Customer Services and Chief Customer Officer Ken Curry transitions toward retirement, he will move into the role of Special Assistant to the President and CEO. While Courtney Dentlinger has been appointed by Kent, to the role of Vice President of Customer Service and External Affairs and Chief Customer Officer, effective September 1.  

Curry has served the district for over 30 years, being appointed to the position of Vice President of Customer Services in 2011, and in 2016 his role was expanded to include safety, human resources, and diversity and inclusion. In 2020 Ken was appointed to Vice President of Customer Services and Chief Customer Officer.

“Ken has been a core part of NPPD for decades and his impact as a leader in the district will be missed. Along with his service to NPPD, he has made a great impact in the many community organizations he served such as Scouting, the Chamber of Commerce, and Columbus Public School board member for a decade, and currently serves as a Commissioner for the Nebraska Game and Parks, to name a few,” notes Kent, “As he prepares for retirement, he will assist with Courtney’s transition into the role of Vice President and will be working on several projects that will help us stay focused on operational excellence as an organization moving forward”

Dentlinger has worked at NPPD since 2017, most recently serving as the Director of Wholesale Services and External Affairs before her appointment to Vice President.

“Courtney brings a wealth of experience in several areas. She is a true believer in the state’s public power model, great at building partnerships, and she brings a fresh perspective to our industry during a time of incredible change,” notes Kent.

Dentlinger has nearly two decades of experience in economic development, government relations, communications, and legal and policy analysis. A native of Battle Creek, Nebraska, Dentlinger earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, international studies and Spanish from Wayne State College, and a juris doctorate from George Washington University in Washington, DC. She has worked in the U.S. Senate, lobbied at the federal level, was a member of the administration of Northeast Community College, and led the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

7/19/2022
NPPD ranks among the best for wholesale rates

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) wholesale electric rates have once again ranked amongst the lowest in the country compared to roughly 800 wholesale electric providers.

Several years ago, NPPD wanted to benchmark its wholesale rate against others in the nation, helping the organization to keep a focus on costs, as well as showing how NPPD’s rates compare to its peers. To do this, NPPD established a goal of being in the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation’s (CFC’s) first quartile -- below the 25-percentile mark, which would indicate NPPD’s wholesale rate is among the lowest of peer wholesale utility rates. In 2020 NPPD met the goal by finishing at the 23.2 percentile and now that the data for 2021 has been finalized NPPD’s rank improved further, finishing at the 12.4 percentile.  

“Meeting this goal has taken a focus and combined effort by all NPPD teammates,” says NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “The excellent performance of NPPD’s generating portfolio and the entire NPPD team has contributed to reaching this goal for the second year in a row. This achievement clearly shows the value of our diversified generation mix.”

NPPD’s wholesale rates have remained steady for five straight years, and as a not-for-profit public corporation, NPPD is able to share surpluses with customers in the form of production credit adjustments. NPPD has wholesale contracts with 38 municipalities and 23 rural public power districts and rural cooperatives across the state.

“NPPD continues to focus on financial management and performance excellence so we can successfully remain in the CFC’s first quartile and thus, keep rates affordable for our customers,” adds Kent. “Reaching this goal benefits NPPD and its wholesale and retail customers, and when combined with excellent performance in other areas of our business, it reinforces our mission and demonstrates the value NPPD provides to Nebraskans.”

6/16/2022
Ribbon cutting scheduled for Norfolk Community Solar

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the City of Norfolk will be celebrating the completion of the state’s largest solar facility with a ribbon cutting, June 22.

The public is welcome to attend the ribbon cutting for the Norfolk Community Solar facility, which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. The ribbon cutting will take place at the solar facility on South 49th Street on the west side of Norfolk, and will include representatives from NPPD, the City of Norfolk, N Solar, the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), and the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET).

“The Norfolk community solar facility is going into operation, and it will be great to officially celebrate the completion of the state’s largest solar facility,” says NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig. “Norfolk customers who have signed up for community solar shares began to see a credit on their bill starting in June.”

The Norfolk Community Solar facility has a capacity of 8.5 megawatts and features the state’s first Battery Energy Storage System rated for 1 megawatt of battery storage.

“We’re excited to officially launch this project. Participating community members will soon be able to utilize affordable, locally generated clean energy for the first time in this form and fashion. We’re proud to have worked collaboratively with NPPD and the private sector to provide the opportunity. It adds to our quality of life,” said Mayor Josh Moenning.

The Norfolk Community Solar facility was developed by N Solar, a three-company partnership that includes Messner Development, Gen Pro Energy Solutions and Sol Systems. N Solar has helped develop three of NPPD’s five community solar facilities across the state.

5/26/2022
NPPD asks lake-goers to help stop spread of invasive species, focus on safe boating practices

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to remind lake-goers about the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species and focusing on safe boating practices as area residents begin enjoying activities on NPPD waterways.  

Invasive species, such as zebra mussels, can very easily be spread from one pond or lake to another if boat owners don’t make sure all the water has been emptied out of their boat at each location it is used. When zebra mussels get into a waterway, they stick to every surface available and begin multiplying quickly, many times clogging intake structures and facilities.

“As summer activities get underway, it’s important that boaters remember to clean, drain and dry their watercraft any time they leave a lake or waterway,” adds NPPD Vice President of Energy Production Mick Spencer. “Invasive species spread at a rapid pace, and If they were to get into an NPPD waterway, they could damage or cause issues at the electric generating plants that utilize water from those resources.”

Lake Maloney, the Sutherland Reservoir, and a portion of Lake Ogallala are all part of the Sutherland Canal system, which provides cooling water for Gerald Gentleman Station and powers the North Platte Hydro. The canal system, which is owned and operated by NPPD, is fed from water out of Lake McConaughey and eventually flows to the South Platte River.

Safety should also be front-of-mind when using NPPD’s water resources for recreational purposes, and the public should follow all regulations established and enforced by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Fishing along the Sutherland Canal is a popular activity, but the steep banks and fast-moving waters can be extremely dangerous if anyone were to fall in the canal. As a safety precaution when fishing along these areas, it is encouraged to bring another person along or let a family or friend know when and where you are going to be there, and always have a life jacket when near the water.

5/20/2022
NPPD surveying residential customers

Columbus, Neb. - Electric customers in Nebraska may soon be receiving an email request to participate in the 2022 Residential Appliance Survey, which helps inform Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) on how residential customers are using electricity and how that might change in the future.

These surveys are conducted on a three-year cycle, and this will be the eighteenth residential appliance survey since 1980. This will also be the first time the survey is done entirely online, by reaching out to customers via email. NPPD and its wholesale partners will be sending the survey to random samples of residential customers, and any customer who receives a survey will receive it from their power provider.

“Identifying the characteristics of residential energy use is important when we are developing a long-term load forecast. This forecast gives us an estimate of the overall load growth that might occur among residential customers in the years to come, and this survey is extremely helpful in accomplishing that,” says NPPD Resource Planning and Risk Manager Jim Fehr.  

In this survey, customers will see questions focused on how likely they are to purchase energy efficient appliances or participate in an energy efficiency program offered by their electricity provider. Fehr also noted, residential energy use makes up a large portion of NPPD’s overall customer base, and this survey is important for informing NPPD on how to best provide for future power needs of our service area.

5/5/2022
NPPD: Look up, look out for powerlines during spring planting

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is encouraging farmers to look up and look out for powerlines heading into spring planting season.

As farmers make their way back out to the field for planting season, NPPD is asking equipment operators to be aware of any powerlines located along the fields they are working in to ensure they can complete their work safely. “Planting season is a busy time for many of our customers in the ag community and it’s important that we remind operators the importance of working safely around powerlines,” says NPPD Transmission and Distribution Construction and Maintenance Manager Scott Walz. “Many pieces of equipment have large booms or can sit tall enough to get near powerlines. If equipment gets close, or contacts a powerline, it can cause serious or fatal injury, and can also result in power outages and damage to equipment as well as vehicle electronics.”

If a vehicle or piece of equipment is in contact with a powerline, call 911 or your local power provider and remain inside the vehicle until help can arrive and deenergize the powerline. When a powerline is touching a vehicle, it can electrify both the vehicle and the ground in the surrounding area. If a fire forces you to exit the vehicle, then do so by jumping away from the vehicle, landing on two feet, and shuffling as far away from the area as possible.

NPPD recommends farmers review the following safety precautions before entering the fields to begin harvest operations. To find more information on farm safety, view https://www.nppd.com/farmsafety.

  • Each day, review all farm activities and work practices that will take place around powerlines and remind all workers to take precautions.
  • Know the location of powerlines and when setting up the farm equipment, be at least 20 feet away from them. Contact your local public power provider if you feel this distance cannot be achieved.
  • Use caution when raising augers or the bed of a grain truck or wagon. It can be difficult to estimate distance, and sometimes a powerline is closer than it looks. For large equipment, use a spotter to ensure the equipment stays a safe distance from the line.
  • Always adjust portable augers or elevators to their lowest possible level – under 14 feet – before transporting them. Variables like wind, uneven ground, or shifting weight can cause unexpected results.
4/22/2022
NPPD celebrating Arbor Day with tree planting in Geneva

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), with the help of fourth graders from Fillmore Central Elementary, will be celebrating Arbor Day by planting several trees in Geneva, Tuesday, April 26.

NPPD has worked with retail communities over the past 17 years to plant trees during the annual Arbor Day celebration. On Tuesday, students will assist in planting nine new trees at Fillmore Central High School, in addition to presenting projects focused on Arbor Day. The planting and presentations are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

“We’re excited to partner with the City of Geneva, Nebraska811 and the local schools for this Arbor Day celebration,” says NPPD Retail Account Manager Craig Vincent. “In addition to donating trees, it provides a great opportunity to educate students on the importance of trees, as well as electrical safety and the hazards of planting trees near overhead power lines.”

NPPD was recently acknowledged by Tree Line USA for the 17th consecutive year, for meeting the organization’s standards of training employees in quality tree care and educating the public on tree planting for energy conservation and appropriate planting near power lines.

The Tree Line USA program recognizes electric utilities that demonstrate practices which protect and enhance America’s rural and urban trees. NPPD’s membership in the Tree Line USA program, sponsored by the National Arbor Day Foundation, provides an avenue to help promote the safety and reliability of power lines through public education programs about the proper planting of trees and vegetation.

4/22/2022
Temporary campfire ban in place at Sutherland Reservoir, Lake Maloney

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is putting a temporary campfire ban in place, effective immediately, at both the Sutherland Reservoir and Lake Maloney.

The temporary ban is being put into effect as extreme fire conditions impact much of the state, including the areas around Sutherland Reservoir and Lake Maloney. This is being done in conjunction with the Nebraska Game and Parks, who announced temporary campfire bans at state parks in central and western Nebraska.

“NPPD water resources provide a great area for visitors to enjoy recreational activities, but it is important that people be allowed to do so in a safe manner,” says NPPD Land Management Coordinator Brian Hope. “We will continue working with state and local officials to monitor the conditions in both areas and the ban will be lifted when the fire risk has diminished.”

Visitors will still be allowed to use grills at both locations but are asked to refrain from making campfires until the temporary ban has been lifted. Signs will be posted near camping areas with fire rings notifying people that the temporary ban is in effect.

3/22/2022
NPPD signs memorandum of cooperation with National Electric Highway Coalition

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has signed a memorandum of cooperation to become a member of the National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC).

NPPD currently offers a wide variety of incentives for customers who want to install residential or public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations or who are interested in purchasing an EV.

“Our membership in NEHC reaffirms our commitment to support the expansion of the EV charging infrastructure along highways and main thoroughfares across the state,” says NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “Most EV owners will charge their vehicles overnight, and that’s very convenient for daily travel, but getting more fast charging stations out in the public along heavily traveled corridors is an important next step to support our customers who are purchasing EVs.”

National Electric Highway Coalition Map

NPPD has installed or provided financial assistance for the instillation of several DC Fast Charging stations throughout our service territory. This includes five already installed in the communities of Auburn, Aurora, Kearney, Norfolk, and York, as well as eight planned for installation in Ainsworth, Chadron, Hebron, McCook, O’Neill, Scottsbluff, Thedford, and Wahoo. “We will continue to work with our wholesale customers and retail communities to install new chargers where the opportunities arise,” adds Kent

NEHC is a collaboration of over 60-member electricity providers across the United states who are committed to providing electric vehicle fast charging stations that will allow the public to drive EVs with confidence along major U.S. travel corridors by the end of 2023.

“NEHC members are committed to supporting the charging infrastructure necessary to facilitate EV growth and enable customers to travel long distances with confidence,” said Kellen Schefter, Edison Electric Institute’s director of electric transportation. “We are happy to welcome NPPD to the NEHC as the coalition's members work to build a foundational network of EV fast charging stations that will help to meet customer needs, reduce carbon emissions, and create a cleaner economy.”

More information on incentives offered by NPPD can be found at nppd.energywisenebraskagoev.com.

3/21/2022
Severe Weather Awareness Week brings reminder to be aware of downed powerlines

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District, in observance of Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week March 21-25, is urging customers to be aware of the dangers of downed powerlines.

One result of severe spring storms are downed powerlines. Tornadoes can bring down transmission lines typically located in rural areas, but trees damaged by tornadoes or high wind conditions can come down on local distribution lines, creating a power outage to residents in the area.

“We urge the public to stay away from downed powerlines and poles, consider them to be live, and do not attempt to move them,” says Vice-President of Energy Delivery Art Wiese. “It is important to allow trained lineman to respond to the area to make sure the lines are deenergized and removed or repaired in a safe manner.”

“It’s also important to refrain from driving over powerlines if you come across one on a roadway,” adds Wiese. “If a powerline has fallen on a vehicle or is lying on the ground, it can charge the area around it with electricity.”

If you are in a car and a power line has fallen on it, stay in the car until public power utility personnel arrive on the scene. If remaining in the car is not an option due to a fire or other unsafe conditions, jump clear of the vehicle so that you land upright with your feet touching the ground together, and then shuffle away from the area.

Tips on safety precautions during a power outage are available at https://www.nppd.com/outages-safety/electrical-safety.

3/14/2022
NPPD mutually agrees to end services contract with Entergy

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Entergy have mutually agreed to end their Support Services Agreement regarding NPPD’s Cooper Nuclear Station. This agreement has been in place since late 2003. While Entergy provided certain personnel for the plant (currently there are five Entergy employees at Cooper Nuclear Station) along with other support services as part of the arrangement, NPPD has maintained ownership of and responsibility for the safe and reliable operations of the plant. NPPD plans to continue operating Cooper Nuclear Station and will utilize Entergy and other available industry resources, as appropriate.

Cooper Nuclear Station is an important part of NPPD’s generation mix. It is NPPD’s largest generating unit and the largest single source of carbon free generation in the state. The station, which began commercial operations in 1974, has the capacity to serve approximately half of the annual energy requirements for NPPD’s retail and wholesale customers with reliable and carbon free electricity. It employs a little more than 600 individuals and has a significant economic impact on Southeast Nebraska.    

Over the past several years, Entergy has been exiting its merchant fleet nuclear operations in the Northeast United States and elsewhere to focus on the nuclear plants in its regulated utility business operations in the Southern United States. Cooper Nuclear Station was the last plant outside of Entergy’s regulated utility business for which Entergy had contractual obligations.  

“This was a mutual decision and is in the best interests of both utilities,” according to a joint statement from Tom Kent, NPPD’s President and CEO and Christopher “Chris” Bakken, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, Entergy Nuclear. “NPPD has had an excellent relationship with Entergy. Its people and processes have played a key role in helping Cooper Nuclear Station achieve improved performance. Over the past two decades, we have built up a tremendous amount of experience and skill within our ranks. We have reached a point where we can meet the high expectations for excellence in the commercial nuclear industry with our team at Cooper Nuclear Station, and as is common in the industry, we can also use supplemental assistance from others in the nuclear industry as needed,” Kent said.    

Cooper Nuclear Station reliably provides carbon-free electricity around the clock for two-year periods between refueling outages. The plant is currently licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to operate until early 2034.  Over the next few years, NPPD will begin discussing the opportunity to pursue a second license renewal which would extend the operating license an additional twenty years.

About Nebraska Public Power District

For more than 50 years, NPPD has been powering Nebraskans, improving the quality of life in our state with affordable, reliable, sustainable electricity from its diverse generation portfolio. Our nearly 2000 teammates live and work in the communities we serve across the state.  As a publicly owned utility and a political subdivision of the State of Nebraska, NPPD is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the people they serve. NPPD works in partnership with our public power partners to help serve an estimated 530,000 Nebraskans with retail or wholesale electric power and energy-related services. We serve 38 municipalities and 23 rural public power districts and/or cooperatives through wholesale contracts, and 77 Nebraska communities, consisting of more than 92,000 retail customers.  

About Entergy Corporation

Entergy, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans, powers life for 3 million customers across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy is creating a cleaner, more resilient energy future for everyone with our diverse power generation portfolio, including increasingly carbon-free energy sources. Entergy’s approximately 12,500 employees are dedicated to powering life today and for future generations. Learn more at entergy.com and follow @Entergy and @EntergyNuclear on social media. #WePowerLife

3/3/2022
NPPD crews beginning annual inspection of transmission lines

Columbus, Neb. – Residents around the state may soon see a helicopter or Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) trucks and UTVs near powerlines as crews begin their annual Spring inspection of the transmission system.

NPPD wants residents to be aware of this process, which involves looking at every component on every transmission structure, across the state, over the next couple of months. “This allows us to identify any parts or equipment on the transmission system that might need replaced or repaired,” notes NPPD Transmission Manager Bob Blessin. “By doing that, we can avoid outages that would have otherwise occurred, reduce costs by being proactive with maintenance, and improve the overall reliability of the system throughout the year.”

Helicopter patrols will take place around the western portion of the state during the first half of March and the southeastern portion of the state during the second half of March. After those two areas have been patrolled, the helicopter will inspect lines in northeast Nebraska around the beginning of April before moving through central Nebraska to inspect any remaining lines.

Crews in all areas of the state are starting to inspect these lines from the ground, and will be completing their patrols over the next couple of months.

2/24/2022
Norfolk residents will soon be able to sign up for solar shares

Columbus, Neb. – Two open houses will be held in Norfolk on March 2 and 17, to give NPPD Retail customers the opportunity to sign up for shares of the Norfolk Community Solar Farm.

The meetings will be held at the Norfolk Public Library from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and customers will be chosen to receive shares in a lottery style selection process. Norfolk residents and businesses can also enter by calling the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD or by going to sunwise.nppd.com and selecting the Norfolk tab to enter their information beginning March 2nd after the first open house meeting.

“Shares from this solar farm are exclusive to NPPD Retail residents and businesses in Norfolk and we are looking forward to getting the selection process underway,” adds NPPD General Manager of Retail Services Pat Hanrahan. “The Norfolk Community Solar and battery storage project is a first of its kind among NPPD retail communities and with a maximum generating capacity of 8.5 megawatts, it will be the largest Community Solar installation to date.”

Customers will have roughly one month to enter their name for a chance to be selected, beginning March 2 through March 31. Only one entry per customer will be accepted; additional entries will not be allowed. Once the entry process has concluded, names will be selected at random until all the shares are reserved. Any customers who enter to receive shares but do not get selected will be placed on a waiting list to receive shares that become available in the future.

“We anticipate strong consumer interest due to competitive pricing and the new opportunity to participate in locally generated clean energy. That being the case, we want to ensure all citizens have an equal opportunity to sign up for shares,” says Norfolk Mayor Josh Moenning. “The lottery process allows for a level playing field for access. We’re excited that Norfolk families and businesses will soon have this option, which is unique to anywhere else in the state.”

Customers who purchase shares from the community solar project will see a credit on their bill depending on how many shares they have reserved. Residential customers will be eligible for a maximum of five shares.  Business customers will be eligible for a maximum of 50 shares. Each share is representative of 150 kilowatt hours of electricity per month.

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