Northwest Rural Public Power District (NRPPD) and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) have agreed to pursue a wholesale power supply contract starting May 1, 2024, following votes by NRPPD’s and NPPD’s Board of Directors.
NRPPD currently has a wholesale power supply contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Cooperative, based out of Westminster, Colorado. NRPPD has given notice to terminate that contract effective May 1, 2024.
NRPPD is headquartered in Hay Springs and serves 3,300 accounts in rural Dawes, Sheridan, and Cherry Counties in the Panhandle of Northwest Nebraska.
“Northwest Rural was a founding member of Tri-State and we’ve had a successful relationship for decades,” says Chance Briscoe, General Manager of NRPPD. “However, with the changes in the electric industry and consideration of NRPPD’s future needs, the Board of Directors believe NPPD offers the best opportunity for continued success into the future.”
NPPD currently serves customers in 84 of Nebraska’s 93 counties. This includes 24 Rural Public Power Districts and Cooperatives and 37 Municipalities through wholesale power supply contracts, as well as 79 retail communities, including two in South Dakota. NPPD’s Board of Directors voted 11-0 in favor of pursuing a wholesale power supply contract with NRPPD, during their regularly scheduled November meeting.
“The NPPD team is excited about the opportunity to partner with Northwest Rural Public Power District in our shared mission to provide low-cost and reliable energy to Nebraskans,” says NPPD Vice President of Customer Services and External Affairs Courtney Dentlinger. “NPPD has long served communities in Nebraska’s panhandle at the retail and wholesale level, and we look forward to working closely with NRPPD as their wholesale power supplier.”
NPPD benchmarks its wholesale rate with roughly 800 members of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) on a yearly basis. Several years ago, NPPD set a goal to be in the first quartile – which is at or below the 25th percentile for power cost. In 2020 NPPD met the goal for the first time since implementing the benchmark by finishing at the 23.2 percentile, then in 2021 improved to the 12.4 percentile, and now that data for 2022 has been finalized, NPPD’s rank improved further, finishing at the 11.7 percentile.
“NPPD has a proven track record for reliable power supply at extremely competitive rates,” says Briscoe. “With this agreement, NRPPD plans to offer a significant rate reduction to our electric customers in the near future and starting in May next year the agreement will keep more than $6 million a year from leaving the state of Nebraska.”
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) retail and wholesale customers will see steady rates in 2024 following a vote by the board of directors Thursday.
NPPD retail customers will experience 11 consecutive years of stable rates, while wholesale customers who purchase electricity from NPPD will also see no overall rate increase for the seventh straight year. NPPD will be making adjustments within different retail rate classes, but overall, NPPD base rates will remain steady. Details on each rate class can be found on NPPD.com.
In addition, the NPPD Board of Directors has voted to provide approximately $57 million to wholesale customers in the form of a Production Cost Adjustment (PCA) credit. This is the sixth consecutive year that NPPD’s wholesale customers will receive a PCA credit.
“We’re excited to announce another year of stable rates, which comes thanks to the hard work of our entire team who constantly strives to provide low-cost, reliable, and sustainable energy to our customers, during a time when supply chain issues and rising costs remain a constant challenge” says NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “The Public Power model continues to be a strength for Nebraska, and NPPD’s diverse generation mix continues to be highly competitive and regularly dispatched in the Southwest Power Pool’s Integrated Market, providing direct benefits to our wholesale and retail customers, through continued low rates and reinvestments in our infrastructure and equipment."
NPPD benchmarks its wholesale rate with roughly 800 members of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) on a yearly basis. Several years ago, NPPD set a goal to be in the first quartile – which is at or below the 25th percentile for power cost. In 2020 NPPD met the goal for the first time since implementing the benchmark by finishing at the 23.2 percentile, then in 2021 improved to the 12.4 percentile, and now that data for 2022 has been finalized, NPPD’s rank improved further, finishing at the 11.7 percentile. As a not-for-profit public corporation, NPPD is able to share surpluses with customers in the form of credits which have been applied to the wholesale power bills and have effectively lowered the cost of power.
NPPD also benchmarks its retail rate using data from U.S. Energy Information Administration, who collected data from over 2,600 utilities across the nation. NPPD’s goal is to maintain a total retail base rate position among the lowest 15 percent of providers, and our most recent ranking improved from 7.7 percent in 2021 to 3.1 percent in 2022. Overall, the state of Nebraska ranks amongst the lowest residential rates in the nation. NPPD serves 79 communities at the retail level, which includes residential, commercial, and industrial customers in communities such as Kearney, Norfolk, Plattsmouth, Scottsbluff, and York.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will partner with SpeedeeMart for a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, November 2 at 3:30 p.m. to unveil Ainsworth’s first ChargePoint DC fast chargers.
“We are starting to see Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers installed in more and more communities across the state and we’re excited to cut the ribbon on the new charges now located in Ainsworth,” said NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig. “These chargers will provide more options for EV owners both living in the Ainsworth area, and for those who are just passing through and need a place to charge.”
The charger is a convenient option for charging an EV in a short amount of time for those traveling long distances. Just 30 minutes of charging with the DC fast charger provides most cars with approximately 70-75 miles of range.
The public, electric vehicle owners, and all those interested in learning about EVs and charging stations are invited to attend. SpeedeeMart is located at 822 East 4th Street.
Columbus, Neb. – Work on a transmission line that runs along 3rd Avenue in Columbus, south of Highway 30, could impact traffic flow in the south bound lanes starting the week of Oct. 23.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) crews will be refurbishing a transmission line that runs along the west side of 3rd Avenue and will be utilizing several pieces of large equipment to complete the work. At times large trucks or equipment with NPPD markings, will be stationed in the southbound lane of 3rd Avenue.
Crews will be using traffic cones to mark off the areas they will be working in, but with other road work already taking place in this area, NPPD wants to make sure people are aware so they can plan their commutes accordingly.
The work is expected to take roughly three weeks to complete, and crews will be working along 3rd Avenue between Highway 30 and South 5th Street during regular business hours, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Columbus, Neb. – A ribbon cutting event will be held Tuesday, October 17 at 3:00 P.M. MT to unveil two new ChargePoint DC fast chargers, located at Big Bat’s truck stop.
Big Bat’s, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Northwest Rural Public Power District (NWRPPD), and the Chadron Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the ribbon cutting to celebrate the installation of the new chargers.
“These chargers will be a great addition to the Chadron area and aim to help ease range anxiety for electric vehicle (EV) owners living in or passing through the area, as well as provide more charging options for customers who are thinking about purchasing an EV,” said NPPD Account Manager Melody Baily.
Just 30 minutes of charging with the DC fast charger provides most cars with approximately 70-75 miles of range. The public, including EV owners and all those interested in learning about EVs and charging stations, are invited to attend.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will partner with Cubby’s Convenience Stores for a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, October 19 at 10:00 a.m. to unveil O’Neill’s first ChargePoint DC fast charger on the northwest side of Cubby’s, at 204 E Highway 20.
“This is an important step forward and a great addition for O’Neill area electric vehicle (EV) owners and for visitors passing through the area.,” said NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig. “We are excited to partner with Cubby’s to add the charging station so we can help grow interest, satisfy demand for users, and alleviate hesitation to purchase EV’s because of range uncertainty and lack of charging facilities.”
The charger is easy to use and is an option for charging an EV in a short amount of time for those traveling long distances. Just 30 minutes of charging with the DC fast charger provides most cars with approximately 70-75 miles of range.
The public, electric vehicle owners, and all those interested in learning about EVs and charging stations are invited to attend.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) joins the nation in celebrating the ninth annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, which marks the progress of the industry by raising awareness of the benefits hydrogen energy and fuel cell technologies provide in reducing emissions, while also driving economic growth.
National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day is observed on Oct. 8 (10.08) in recognition of the atomic weight of hydrogen - 1.008. Hydrogen is already providing fuel, feedstock, and power to wide-ranging sectors of the U.S.
“NPPD is proud to join with other innovative companies observing National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day,” said Generation Research Senior Program Manager Roman Estrada. “The hydrogen and fuel cell industries are continuing to make their mark on America’s energy landscape, as new technologies and industries utilize hydrogen in their production processes and as a fuel source. NPPD also continues to evaluate the usage of hydrogen as a fuel source and energy storage element for use in generation assets, both current and new, along other fuels options.”
Furthermore, NPPD is assessing additional options for hydrogen usage via efforts in developing an application for the Department of Energy (DOE) Regional Hydrogen Hubs created from the U.S. Congressional Infrastructure Bill (IIJA) and the Nebraska Legislative Bill (LB1099), which established a Governor’s appointed committee that NPPD chairs to support the state of Nebraska’s effort to participate in the DOE Regional Hydrogen Hubs. Nebraska partnered with Iowa and Missouri to form the Mid-Continent Clean Hydrogen Hub (MCH2) and is one of 27 regional hydrogen hubs who submitted applications to the DOE. The DOE is expected to select between six to 10 regional hubs to receive money. You can find more information on the regional hydrogen hub on the MCH2 website.
“Hydrogen energy and fuel cell technologies offer a clear pathway toward low- and no-carbon emissions for a range of market sectors, as well as the potential to boost economic growth, creating high-quality jobs and spurring advanced American manufacturing and export opportunities at both the local and national level,” added Estrada. “As the technology continues to advance, we look forward to the opportunities it will bring to Nebraska and the wider region.”
For more information on National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, please visit the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association website.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Board of Directors will hold a public hearing during the regularly scheduled October meeting to gather input on two proposed retail service standards in the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA).
As a part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, Congress amended the PURPA by adding two retail service standards. NPPD’s Board of Directors is required by the PURPA to consider and determine whether to adopt the two standards, which are related to demand response practices and electric vehicle (EV) charging programs.
The first standard up for consideration requires each utility to promote the use of demand response practices by customers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand.
The second standard up for consideration requires that each state consider measures to promote affordable and equitable EV charging options for customers, improve the customer experience associated with EV charging, accelerate third-party investment in EV chargers, and appropriately recover marginal costs of delivering electricity to EVs and EV charging equipment.
“The PURPA was initially implemented in 1978 to encourage, among other things, conservation of electric energy, increased efficiency of electric resources and equitable retail rates for electric consumers,” said NPPD Pricing and Rates Supervisor Scott Jackson. “New PURPA standards are periodically added for consideration by utilities. The public hearing in October provides an opportunity for members of the public to comment on the two new proposed standards.”
The public hearing is scheduled to take place at the NPPD General Office in Columbus during the Thursday, October 12, 2023, Board meeting at approximately 2 p.m. CDT.
The new standards up for consideration can be seen on nppd.com/purpa.
Columbus, Neb. – Fall weather is moving into the state and as farmers start to harvest their crops, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to remind equipment operators to look up and look out for powerlines.
NPPD asks large equipment operators working around powerlines to keep their equipment at least 20 feet away from any lines. “If a piece of equipment gets too close to a line, electricity can arc to the equipment and result in potentially serious or fatal injury,” says NPPD Vice President of Energy Delivery Scott Walz. “Whether it is a piece of farm equipment, or other large equipment such as excavators, it’s important that operators are aware of powerline locations so they can complete their work safely.”
NPPD also wants to remind farmers who utilize drones to take note of where powerlines are located. “Drones can be a great tool for farmers to implement into their operations. The pilots should be aware of powerlines, so they don’t damage their drones or the powerlines near the fields they’re operating in,” adds Walz.
If an equipment operator does get too close or contacts a powerline, anyone inside the vehicle should remain there until help can arrive and deenergize the line. When a powerline is touching a vehicle or lying on the ground, 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.
More information on harvest safety can be found on NPPD’s website at https://nppd.com/outages-safety/electrical-safety and farmers are encouraged to follow the tips below:
Columbus, Neb. – This week Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will celebrate 32 years of support for local schools through the annual Nebraska Open golf tournament and fundraiser, including more than $70,000 dollars raised for scholarships in 2023.
The Nebraska Open is an annual golf tournament and fundraiser, coordinated by NPPD, that has helped raise more than $1.9 million in scholarship funds over the last 32 years. These scholarship funds are given to the Central Community College Foundation to support scholarships for students attending Central, Mid-Plains, Northeast, Southeast, and Western Community Colleges.
“It’s been great to see the continued support for the Nebraska Open, which has provided an excellent avenue for NPPD to empower students across our service territory,” noted NPPD Marketing Content Specialist and Nebraska Open event coordinator Christy Avery. “Raising more than $1.9 million throughout the life of the tournament is no small feat, and the support of the sponsors ensures we can continue providing scholarships to our local students.”
The Nebraska Open kicks off with an 18-hole Pro-Am event on Thursday, Sept. 14, followed by the 54-hole professional tournament, which begins Friday and is endorsed and sponsored by the Nebraska Section of the PGA. The Nebraska Open has been held in Columbus since its creation in 1992 and will conclude with an awards ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 17.
The 2023 tournament is sponsored by 42 businesses whose donations help support the scholarships given to students at 11 different campuses across the state. Wells Fargo returns as the title sponsor for the 20th consecutive year, along with national, regional, and Columbus-based sponsors such as Behlen Mfg. Co, Kelly Supply Co., and Nebraska Energy Federal Credit Union.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be draining the Sutherland Canal in between Lake Ogallala, Sutherland Reservoir, and Lake Maloney to conduct maintenance and inspection activities, in conjunction with the fall renovation work the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will be conducting at Lake Ogallala.
In order for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission to conduct their work, water levels in Lake Ogallala will be lowered, and once water levels are low enough, releases of water to the Sutherland Canal will be halted.
At this same time, NPPD will be emptying water out of the canals in between Lake Ogallala, the Sutherland Reservoir, and Lake Maloney. The process to dewater Lake Ogallala and the canal will take roughly two weeks to complete. The canal will then remain dewatered for approximately five to six weeks before being refilled to normal operating levels.
“NPPD, Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District, and the Game and Parks Commission have worked together to coordinate this work, so it can be done in a timely fashion, which allows for all the organizations to complete our work without having to lower water levels in the system multiple times,” says NPPD Canaday, Water, and Renewable Energy Manager Kirk Evert. “Being able to conduct maintenance and in-depth inspections along the canal system, helps ensure the safe and successful operation of the system.”
While canal waters are lowered, crews will be conducting general maintenance activities along the canal, inspecting the gates at Keystone, inspecting the Sutherland Reservoir Outlet, draining the forebay above the North Platte Hydro to inspect the penstock that delivers water into the hydro, and completing maintenance at the hydro.
More information on the fall renovation at Lake Ogallala can be found on the Nebraska Game and Parks website.
Columbus, Neb. — Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will host an open house Tuesday, September 19 from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Victory Road Assembly of God Church for the proposed Norfolk-Stanton North transmission line project.
NPPD plans to build an approximately seven-to-nine-mile, 115-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from NPPD’s existing Norfolk substation on the southeast side of Norfolk to NPPD’s existing Stanton North Substation in northwest Stanton County.
“The electric load in the Stanton, Cuming, and Burt County areas continues to grow, and the existing 115kV transmission system faces high electrical demand. The new line will increase the system’s transmission capacity to meet the increasing demand and further enhance reliability and resiliency in these areas,” says NPPD Senior Project Manager Paul Brune. “The project is currently in the planning stage, where we begin communicating with local landowners to determine the most appropriate path between the two substations.”
At the open house, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the project, ask questions, and provide input about their properties. There will be no formal presentation, so participants may come and go at their convenience, any time between 2 and 8 p.m.
Anyone who cannot attend the open house in-person may attend the virtual open house at norfolk-stantonnorth.nppd.com from September 19 to October 3. This web page will also host updated information about the project as it progresses.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) wholesale electric rates continue to rank among the lowest in the country.
In 2016, NPPD began benchmarking its wholesale rate against others in the nation utilizing a database maintained by the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC). The large group includes over 800 electric utilities which purchase wholesale power. NPPD set a goal to be in the first quartile – which is at or below the 25th percentile for power cost. In 2020 NPPD met the goal for the first time since implementing the benchmark by finishing at the 23.2 percentile, then in 2021 improved to the 12.4 percentile, and now that the data for 2022 has been finalized, NPPD’s rank improved further, finishing at the 11.7 percentile. As a not-for-profit public corporation, NPPD is able to share surpluses with customers in the form of credits which have been applied to the wholesale power bills and have effectively lowered the cost of power.
“Achieving and improving on this goal for three straight years reflects our staff’s commitment to put customers first,” said NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “Our team has done a great job at focusing on cost control and outstanding operational performance within our plants and throughout our transmission and distribution systems and has done an excellent job mitigating risk and market volatility for our customers’ benefit. Our team’s focus is essential for our goal to continue providing affordable, reliable, resilient, and sustainable power to our customers.”
NPPD’s wholesale rates have remained steady for six straight years. NPPD has wholesale contracts with 37 municipalities and 23 public power districts and cooperatives across the state.
“Many variables continue to impact the electric industry,” added Kent. “And this CFC metric is a tangible example of how our NPPD team is meeting our goals and striving to achieve our vision as a premier energy provider, bringing the best of public power to Nebraskans, powering everyday life and a brighter future.”
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) crews will be emptying water out of the Kearney Canal system starting Saturday, August 12 to conduct maintenance activities.
During inspection of the canal system, NPPD crews identified a small leak on a bank of the canal and will be emptying water from the canal system so maintenance work can be completed. If work goes as planned, NPPD estimates it will take roughly a week to complete the work and begin refilling water in the canal system back to normal levels.
Omaha, Neb. – Cyber security remains a top priority for the state’s utilities, who continued to sharpen their skills during the Cyber Tatanka exercise held in partnership with the Nebraska National Guard.
Cyber Tatanka was a two-week exercise, where cyber security staff members practiced defending against cyber-attacks in a controlled environment. The Cyber Tatanka exercise was planned and organized by Lincoln Electric System (LES), Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Nebraska National Guard, and Union Bank and Trust.
“This exercise is both unique and extremely valuable to the various teams that handle cyber security on a daily basis, but don’t deal with cyber-attacks at the level or intensity experienced in the drill,” says NPPD Cyber Security Governance, Risk, and Assurance Manager Lourdes Herling, “Getting a chance to practice our response to these scenarios in a controlled environment ensures we are better prepared to respond to any potential cyber threats in the future.”
A total of 150 cyber security professionals participated in the exercise, representing organizations in manufacturing, emergency services, energy, financial services, government facilities, healthcare, transportation, water systems and military, along with several academic institutions. Teams defended systems against hacktivists, cybercriminals, nation-state actors and insider threats.
LES Cybersecurity Manager Dustin Thorne was one of the lead civilian planners and touted the many benefits of the exercise. “Participants gathered experience from a Department of Defense-trained Cyber Protection Team and saw how the U.S., Czech and Ukraine militaries react to cyber events. We all speak the same language in the cyber domain.” Benefits to the military in this type of exercise were to understand the constraints of critical infrastructure and businesses in a cyber event to keep operating while addressing the attack.
In addition, the drill had attendees from the states of Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota, Vermont and Pennsylvania as well as international participants from the Czech Armed Forces Cyber Command and the Ukraine Ministry of Defense.
The Nebraska National Guard recognized LES’ Dustin Thorne with the Nebraska National Guard Commendation Medal and LES’ James Richardson and Jessica Harman and NPPD’s Lourdes Herling and Wyatt Leehy with the Nebraska National Guard Individual Achievement Medal for their work in planning the exercise.
Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) customers in Plattsmouth are asked to voluntarily conserve energy, while crews make repairs to one of the two load serving substations that serve the city.
A power outage occurred to just over 2,000 customers in Plattsmouth at approximately 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, due to an issue with a piece of equipment in the Plattsmouth West substation. All customers were restored as of 2:56 p.m. by rerouting power and serving the customers through one substation.
Crews are in the process of repairing the piece of equipment so the Plattsmouth West substation can be restored to normal operation. While the repairs are being made, NPPD is asking Plattsmouth customers to conserve their energy use until the second substation is returned to normal operation. This will ensure the substation can serve all of the customers while the repairs are being completed.
NPPD will provide an update when the substation has returned to normal operation. If repairs go as planned, the Plattsmouth West substation is expected to return to service early on July 6th.
Some tips for conserving energy use, include:
Columbus, Neb. – Hot temps are hitting the state this week and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to remind customers of a few tips to help cool down the home.
NPPD Energy Efficiency Program Manager Cory Fuehrer says the average Nebraska home uses ten percent of its annual energy to keep cool. “Cranking up the air conditioner seems inevitable when the hot temperatures begin to hit but following a few easy steps and utilizing technology like smart thermostats can help lower your energy usage, and in turn lower the dollar amount on your energy bill each month,” added Fuehrer.
Using shades or blinds during the day and keeping windows closed is a quick way to keep your home from heating up. The east and west windows receive the most impact from the sun’s infrared rays and are important to keep covered. Cooking outside on the grill, will also help keep temperatures down. Anytime you cook inside, your home must use more electricity to remove the newly generated heat.
Utilizing smart thermostats can be a great way to optimize how you use your air conditioner. Smart thermostats can set themselves at higher temperatures when no one is home and then lower to help cool the home when you are inside it. This reduces how much your AC unit is running and the overall amount of energy that unit is using. “If you don’t have a smart thermostat, take the extra time to turn your thermostat up before leaving for the day, and back down when you get home. If it’s still too hot, using a ceiling or floor fan can help provide up to four degrees of cooling comfort,” notes Fuehrer.
“Ensuring your air conditioning equipment is running efficiently could also help you cut energy use,” says Fuehrer. “Make sure the filter in your indoor air handler is changed regularly, and that your outdoor compressor unit is clear of debris with at least two-foot of cleared area surrounding it.”
Customers can also check out NPPD’s EnergyWise Incentives & Programs or with their local power provider to see if there are any incentives that can help improve daily energy use.