News Releases

1/13/2023
NPPD beginning Siting Study for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is beginning the process of studying sites that could have the potential to host advanced small modular nuclear reactors.

Advanced small modular reactors are a new type of nuclear reactor being designed, that are more scalable and have more refined safety features, than the commercial nuclear reactors currently operating today.

Under legislative bill 1014, the State of Nebraska allocated $1 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to complete a siting study for small modular reactors. As an owner of a current operating nuclear power plant, Cooper Nuclear Station, NPPD qualified to apply for these funds to complete the siting study. NPPD’s application for funding was approved by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development on January 6.

“We are very excited to be a part of this process,” says NPPD Generation Research Senior Program Manager Roman Estrada. “We are always looking at new technologies and what innovations are being made in the field of energy generation. This study will not result in the immediate construction of an advanced small modular reactor, but it will give us a great look at potential areas in the state where this technology could be sited.”

The first phase of the siting study involves doing a Nebraska-wide assessment to determine the 15 best locations for siting small modular reactors based on geographic data and preliminary licensing criteria. Some of the key criteria being considered will be access to water and transmission lines among many others. This phase is estimated to be completed in spring of 2023.

The second phase of the study will perform a more in-depth evaluation and will focus on reducing the number of sites from 15 to four. This effort includes detailed field environmental and constructability evaluations based on criteria used by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when licensing nuclear plants. This phase of the study is estimated to take approximately a year to complete.

NPPD will be completing the study with the help of engineering firm, Burns & McDonnell, who has experience in the development and design of advanced small modular reactors.

1/12/2023
NPPD Board of Directors elect officers

Columbus, Neb. – The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Board of Directors elected officers for 2023 during Wednesday’s regularly scheduled meeting in Columbus.

Jerry Chlopek of Columbus, elected to serve as Chair in 2022, will continue to serve as Chair of NPPD’s Board of Directors for 2023. Wayne Williams of Central City was elected to serve as first vice chair, Ed Schrock of Holdrege/Elm Creek will serve as second vice chair for a second year, and Aaron Troester of O’Neill was elected as secretary. NPPD Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Laura Kapustka will continue to serve as treasurer.

“I look forward to continue serving as Board Chair, as we celebrate a decade of stable rates for retail customers and six consecutive years of stable rates for wholesale customers,” says Chlopek. “There is a lot to be proud of with NPPD’s performance in 2022, and we move into the new year with a continued focus on bringing the best of public power to all of our customers.”

Chlopek, who represents Subdivision 9, has served on the NPPD board since 2009. Previously he served as first vice chair in 2021 and has served as Secretary for a total of seven years. Chlopek worked for Cornhusker Public Power District for more than 40 years, retiring in 2009 as the utility’s Operations Director. A graduate of Genoa High School, Jerry served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army Reserve.

Chlopek represents Subdivision 9 which consists of Butler, Platte, and Polk Counties.

The Board of Directors also appointed Donna Starzec as assistant treasurer, and Cristal Menke as deputy assistant treasurer. Jan Modelski was re-appointed as assistant secretary, and Sandra Keefover as deputy assistant secretary. All are from Columbus.

12/8/2022
NPPD low rates to remain steady, following board vote

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) customers will see steady rates in 2023, in addition to receiving a production cost adjustment credit, following a vote by the board of directors Thursday.

NPPD retail customers will experience 10 consecutive years of stable rates, while wholesale customers who purchase electricity from NPPD will also see no overall rate increase for the sixth straight year. In addition to maintaining stable rates, the NPPD Board of Directors has voted to share approximately $34 million with wholesale customers in the form of a Production Cost Adjustment (PCA) credit. This is the fifth consecutive year that NPPD’s wholesale customers will receive a PCA credit on their bill.  

“In a time where inflation has impacted a lot of areas in our day-to-day lives, NPPD’s rates are one expense our customers have seen remain steady,” notes NPPD President and CEO Tom Kent. “Thanks to the diversity of our generation mix and the great performance of our people and plants, we’ve been able to perform well in the market and return a surplus back to our customers through a PCA credit, for several consecutive years. NPPD’s success in the market results in direct benefits to our wholesale and retail customers, through continued low rates, PCA credits and reinvestments in our infrastructure and equipment. It’s the true value of the public power model.”

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 established a goal of having its rates in the CFC’s lowest cost quartile (below the 25-percentile mark) and achieved that goal in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, NPPD finished at the 23.2-percentile mark and most recently in 2021 improved to the 12.4-percentile, ranking it amongst the lowest-cost utilities in the benchmark. NPPD serves 23 rural public power districts and 38 municipalities through wholesale contracts.

NPPD also serves 79 communities at the retail level, which includes residential, commercial, and industrial customers in communities such as Kearney, Norfolk, Plattsmouth, Scottsbluff, and York. Those NPPD retail customers who receive a bill directly from NPPD will continue to see a PCA credit on their monthly bill in 2023.  

NPPD also offers a separate RateWise Time-of-Use rate to retail residential customers, which allows them to realize potential savings if they can shift a portion of their energy usage to certain times of the day where demand for energy is lower and market prices are more favorable. Learn more about this program at https://nppd.com/ratewise.

11/15/2022
NPPD to host informational meeting for Ogallala Community Solar program

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and the City of Ogallala will be hosting an informational meeting Monday, November 28 at 5:30 p.m., at the Ogallala City Administration Office, for NPPD customers in Ogallala to learn how to sign up for shares of the community solar program.

Ogallala residents who are either commercial or residential customers of NPPD and served by the cities electrical system, are encouraged to attend this meeting to learn how they could participate in the community solar program. Those who are interested in signing up for the program can learn how many shares they are eligible to sign up for, and how much money they can save on their electric bill if they sign up.

“Participants in the Ogallala Community Solar program will receive a credit on their bill, that varies based on how many shares that participant is signed up for,” says NPPD Economic Development Consultant and Account Manager Brian Vasa. “We are encouraging anyone who is interested or curious about community solar, to attend this meeting, and learn how the program works and how they can participate.”

The Ogallala solar facility will generate 3.425 MWh of electricity, which is enough to serve the equivalent of approximately 300 homes when the sun is shining and is estimated to be completed and operating in late 2022, early 2023.

Only those residential and commercial customers who receive a bill from NPPD and are served by the cities electrical system are eligible to purchase solar shares. When shares are fully subscribed a waiting list will be developed and customers on the waiting list will be contacted to sign up for shares when they become available.

The Ogallala City Administration Office is located at 411 E 2nd Street.

11/9/2022
NPPD hosting second open house for Kearney Power Project

Columbus, Neb. — Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be hosting a second open house for the Kearney Power Project, November 17, starting at 2 p.m. at the Younes Conference Center South.  

NPPD plans to build an approximately six-to-nine-mile, 115 kV transmission line to provide a necessary path between two local substations. The Kearney Power Project will increase the system’s transmission system capacity to meet increasing demand and further enhance reliability and resiliency in the Kearney area. The project is in the second phase, in which NPPD is communicating with landowners and stakeholders in effort to determine the final transmission line route. The public is invited to join NPPD to learn more about the project and provide public input.

The in-person open house will be held:

Date: November 17, 2022
Time: 2 to 7 p.m., CST
Location: Younes Conference Center South, 416 W Talmadge Rd, Kearney, NE 68845 (Diamond Rooms 9 & 10)

Unable to attend in person? A self-paced virtual public meeting is available November 14 through 25 at www.kearneypower.nppd.com.

The City of Kearney is rapidly growing, and the current transmission system is facing high electrical demand. This 115 kV transmission line from the Kearney TechOne substation on the east side of Kearney to the Tower substation on the west side of Kearney would accommodate current and projected future loads. The new line would provide additional reliability and enhanced resiliency for the Kearney area.

“We highly encourage everyone to attend and give feedback on the preferred and alternative routes,” says Project Sponsor Art Wiese. “This is an important step in our process, and feedback received at this meeting will have a tremendous impact on the final line route.”

This open house and virtual meeting will allow participants to learn about the preferred and alternative routes, provide an opportunity to ask questions and offer input about their properties. There will be no formal presentation or testimony during this open house meeting, and participants may come and go at their convenience.

Following this meeting, NPPD will use information provided by landowners and stakeholders from the area, as well as engineering and environmental considerations to determine the final location of the transmission line. In early 2023 a formal public hearing will be held for the project, followed by a 30-day comment period.

For more information about the project and to stay involved, visit kearneypower.nppd.com.

11/9/2022
Second open house scheduled for Scottsbluff Power Project

Columbus, Neb. — Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be hosting a second open house for the Scottsbluff Power Project November 15, starting at 2 p.m. at the Hampton Inn.  

NPPD plans to build an approximately seven-to-ten-mile, 115 kV transmission line to provide a necessary second path between the City’s two substations. The Scottsbluff Power Project will increase the transmission system capacity to meet electrical demand, reduce congestion, and further enhance the reliability and resiliency of the Scottsbluff and western Nebraska areas. The project is in the second phase, in which NPPD is communicating with landowners and stakeholders in effort to determine the final transmission line route. The public is invited to join NPPD to learn more about the project and provide public input.

The in-person open house will be held:

Date: November 15, 2022  
Time: 2 to 7 p.m., MST
Location: Hampton Inn, 301 West Highway 26, Scottsbluff, NE 69361

Unable to attend in person? A self-paced, virtual public meeting is available November 14 through 25 at www.scottsbluffpower.nppd.com.

The City of Scottsbluff is currently served from NPPD’s two 115 kV substations, with only one existing transmission line connecting the two. This single transmission line is subject to heavy congestion. The new 115 kV transmission line from the Scottsbluff substation to the Victory Hill substation would accommodate current and projected future loads.  

“We highly encourage everyone to attend and give feedback on the preferred and alternative routes,” says Project Sponsor Art Wiese. “This is an important step in our process, and feedback received at this meeting will have a tremendous impact on the final line route.”

This open house and virtual meeting will allow participants to learn about the preferred and alternative routes, provide an opportunity to ask questions and offer input about their properties. There will be no formal presentation or testimony during this open house meeting, and participants may come and go at their convenience.

Following this meeting, NPPD will use information provided by landowners and stakeholders from the area, as well as engineering and environmental considerations to determine the final location of the transmission line. In early 2023, a formal public hearing will be held for the project, followed by a 30-day comment period.

For more information about the project and to stay involved, visit scottsbluffpower.nppd.com.

10/31/2022
Planned outage for customers in Boyd County, parts of Holt and Knox County

Columbus, Neb. -  A planned outage is scheduled for electric customers in Boyd County, as well as parts of Holt and Knox County, Sunday, November 6 from 1 to 5 p.m., following the completion of upgrades to the main substation that serves the area.

The outage will impact Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) customers in the communities of Butte, Bristow, and Lynch, as well as the Village of Spencer, and Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation customers in rural Boyd County, northwestern Knox County, and northern Holt County.

The first of two planned outages occurred on September 18, so crews could begin making substation upgrades. Now that the upgrades have been completed, a second planned outage will be observed so that the system can be returned to normal operation. “Outages are never ideal, and we appreciate everyone’s patience during this process. These upgrades will help ensure that area residents have reliable power for years to come,” says NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig.

“Similar to the first planned outage in September, our crews will be taking the chance to complete work on other parts of our system that would otherwise require an outage,” notes Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation General Manager Matt Fritz.

NPPD and Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation will begin reaching out to customers who will be impacted by the outage between November 1st and 3rd.

10/13/2022
Ribbon cutting scheduled for York Community Solar Facility

York, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District, the City of York, GRNE Solar and several others will be celebrating the completion of the new community solar facility, October 20 at 3:45 p.m.

The 3.2-megawatt solar facility is located near the intersection of Hwy 81 and County Road 15, and at its peak can generate the same amount of energy needed to power over 1,030 homes.

“We are excited to be cutting the ribbon on this new project, which will provide the community of York a great way to take advantage of renewable energy for years to come,” says NPPD General Manager of Retail Pat Hanrahan. “NPPD worked closely with the City of York and GRNE Solar throughout the development of this community solar facility and the ribbon cutting will be a great opportunity to celebrate everyone’s hard work.”

Community Solar Projects generate solar energy shares that can be used by community entities to reduce energy costs and use green energy. The City of York decided to distribute the solar shares to tax-payer entities in the community so that everyone in the community benefits from savings. Starting in October, the city, public school, and county buildings in York will operate entirely with solar shares. That left a few shares, so the city decided to collaborate with York University to use those shares for the Holthus Field House. “We appreciate the collaboration with NPPD and GRNE on this project. We are excited to have solar shares to cover all City of York electricity needs and to be able to provide solar shares that cover all of York Public Schools energy as well as energy for some York County buildings and the Holthus Field House,” says Mayor Barry Redfern, City of York.

“This project has been very exciting for GRNE Solar for many reasons. Year-to-date this is one of the largest projects we have now completed, and now for decades it will be utilized for the community’s benefit. Not only will this solar field be reducing the local environmental carbon footprint, but it will also be used to educate our next generations on the many benefits of solar energy. We thank the Nebraska Public Power District, and the City of York for their forward-thinking vision and their pursuit towards a cleaner and greener future.” notes GRNE Founder & COO Jess Baker.

10/8/2022
NPPD recognizes National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Oct. 8

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) joins the nation in celebrating the eighth annual National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, which marks the growth of the industry by raising awareness of the benefits hydrogen energy and fuel cell technologies provide in reducing emissions, while driving economic growth.

National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day is observed on October 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 Director, Generation Strategies & Research for NPPD John Swanson. “Today the hydrogen and fuel cell industries are continuing to make its mark on America’s energy landscape. NPPD has been evaluating usage of hydrogen as a fuel source and energy storage element for use in generation assets (current and new) and other fuels option.”  

NPPD Generation Research Senior Program Manager Roman Estrada notes that, “NPPD also continues to assess additional options for hydrogen usage in the effort to develop 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. LB1099 established a Governor’s appointed committee, that NPPD chairs, to support the state of Nebraska’s effort to participate in the DOE Hydrogen Hubs. 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 boosting economic growth, creating high-quality jobs, and spurring advanced American manufacturing and export opportunities.”  

The Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy report projects that continued investment in hydrogen will support more than 3 million jobs and $750 billion in revenue by 2050, meeting 14% of total energy demand and reducing total carbon dioxide emissions by 16%. In the transportation sector alone, hydrogen energy can provide 33% of fuel for heavy trucks and aviation globally and 60% of fuel for marine shipping, helping to reduce U.S. transportation system emissions by 30%.

For more information on National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, please visit the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association website.

9/26/2022
Remember to look up and look out for powerlines this harvest season

Columbus, Neb. – Harvest is getting underway for many farmers across the state, and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) wants to remind equipment operators to look up and look out for powerlines as they head back out to the field.

NPPD encourages equipment operators to keep their machines 20 feet away from powerlines to avoid the possibility of any electricity arcing from the line to the equipment.

“It’s easy for an equipment operator to accidentally get a piece of equipment too close to a powerline or even make contact if they are not aware of their surroundings,” says NPPD Vice President of Delivery Art Wiese. “If large equipment gets too close to a powerline, electricity can arc from the line to the equipment, potentially causing major damage and severe or fatal injury to the operator.”

If a powerline falls onto a vehicle or piece of equipment, anyone inside the vehicle should remain there until help can arrive and deenergize the powerline. 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.

  • 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 make certain 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.

9/20/2022
NPPD to Host Open House Meetings for the Kearney Power Project

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be hosting an open house September 29 at the Younes Conference Center South, for a new transmission project that will serve the city.

NPPD plans to build an approximately six to nine-mile, 115 kV transmission line to provide a necessary path between two critical local load serving substations. The Kearney Power Project will increase the system’s transmission system capacity to meet increasing demand and further enhance reliability and resiliency in the Kearney area. The project is in the planning stage, in which NPPD begins communicating with local landowners in its effort to determine the most appropriate path between the two substations. The public is invited to join NPPD to learn more about the project and provide public input.

Input from landowners and interested stakeholders will help NPPD refine the location of the 115 kV transmission line. The in-person meeting will be held:

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (CST)
Location: Younes Conference Center South, 416 W Talmadge Rd, Kearney, NE 68845 (Crystal Rooms 3 & 4)

Unable to attend in person? A self-paced virtual public meeting is available 24/7, beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, October 7, 2022, at kearneypower.nppd.com.

The City of Kearney is rapidly growing, and the current transmission system is facing high electrical demand on its existing 115 kV transmission system. In exploring several different options, NPPD and SPP determined a 115 kV transmission line from the Kearney TechOne substation on the east side of Kearney to the Tower substation on the west side of Kearney will accommodate current and projected future loads. The new line will provide additional reliability and enhanced resiliency for the Kearney area.

The open house and virtual meeting will allow participants to learn about the project, with opportunities to ask questions and provide input about their properties. The two sessions held on September 29th will offer the same information, and no formal presentation will be given. Participants may come and go at their convenience during either of the sessions. For more information and to stay involved with the Kearney Power Project, visit kearneypower.nppd.com.

9/20/2022
NPPD to Host Open House Meetings for the Scottsbluff Power Project

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be hosting an open house September 27 at the Gering Civic Center, for a new transmission project that will serve the city.

NPPD plans to build an approximately seven to ten-mile, 115 kV transmission line to provide a necessary second path between the city’s two load delivery substations. The Scottsbluff Power Project will increase the transmission system capacity to meet electrical demand, reduce congestion, and further enhance the reliability and resiliency of the Scottsbluff and western Nebraska areas. The project is in the planning stage, in which NPPD begins communicating with local landowners in its efforts to determine the most appropriate path between the two substations. The public is invited to join NPPD to learn more about the project and provide public input.  

Input from landowners and interested stakeholders will help NPPD refine the location of the 115 kV transmission line. The in-person meeting will be held:

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (MST)
Location: Gering Civic Center, 1050 M St, Gering, NE 69341

Unable to attend in person? A self-paced virtual public meeting is available 24/7, beginning Monday, September 26, through Friday, October 7, 2022, at scottsbluffpower.nppd.com.

The City of Scottsbluff is currently served from two 115 kV substations, with only one existing transmission line connecting the two. This single transmission line is subject to heavy congestion and regional power flows within the SPP. In exploring several options, NPPD and SPP determined a 115 kV transmission line from the Scottsbluff substation to the Victory Hill substation will accommodate current and projected future loads.

The open house and virtual meeting will allow participants to learn about the project, with opportunities to ask questions and provide input about their properties. The two sessions held on September 27th will offer the same information, and no formal presentation will be given. Participants may come and go at their convenience during either of the sessions. For more information and to stay involved with the Scottsbluff Power Project, visit scottsbluffpower.nppd.com.

9/15/2022
Lake Ogallala to be drained for maintenance on Keystone Diversion Dam south river gates

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) is coordinating with Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District (CNPPID) to begin draining Lake Ogallala in late September, to complete maintenance on the Keystone Diversion Dam as well as other canal maintenance projects.  

CNPPID will gradually step-down releases from Kingsley Hydro into Lake Ogallala in late September, with a current start date targeted for September 23. Once the lake is drained, flows into Lake Ogallala from the Kingsley Hydro will cease until the work is completed and the lake is refilled. The Kingsley Hydro is owned and operated by CNPPID.

While the lake is drained, crews will be reapplying a protective coating to the five gates on the south side of the Keystone Diversion Dam, which helps regulate the amount of water released from Lake Ogallala into the North Platte River and NPPD’s Sutherland Canal. “The work being done is a part of the overall general maintenance of the dam, and we are working closely with CNPPID and the Nebraska Game and Parks throughout this process,” notes NPPD Canaday, Water, and Renewable Energy Manager Kirk Evert.

The Sutherland Canal provides water for irrigation, hydropower, and cooling for Gerald Gentleman Station (GGS), NPPD’s 1300-megawatt coal plant located near Sutherland. This work will not impact the operation of GGS, and water stored in the Sutherland Reservoir will be used for cooling at the plant until work on the gates is completed, and flows from Lake Ogallala can be returned to the Sutherland Canal. Flow in the Sutherland Canal is currently scheduled to resume in mid to late November.

The south end of the Keystone Diversion Dam and the NPPD canal roads near the project area will be closed to the public throughout the duration of the project.

9/14/2022
NPPD hosting two drills at Sheldon Station, September 21

Columbus, Neb. – Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) will be hosting two drills at Sheldon Station, Wednesday, September 21, which will result in an increase in the number of emergency vehicles visiting the plant.

NPPD staff will be holding an active shooter drill and a rescue drill at the plant, which will involve participation from NPPD staff at the site and observations by emergency personnel from State and local agencies. The rescue drill will also include participation from Monolith, which has a facility located near Sheldon Station.

“We are happy to be working alongside these other agencies, who will be observing the drill and providing us with feedback on how we can improve in our response,” says NPPD Safety and Human Performance Lead Mitch Homolka. “Because of this, there will be an abnormal amount of emergency vehicles arriving at the plant, and we want the public to be aware of what is going on and to not be concerned when they see EMTs and law enforcement on site that morning,”

Some of the response organizations that will be attending the drill include representatives from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Hallam Volunteer Fire Department, which includes staff members from Sheldon Station, and the Starcare life-flight helicopter.

9/9/2022
Planned outage for customers in Boyd County, parts of Holt and Knox County

Columbus, Neb. -  A planned outage is scheduled for electric customers in Boyd County, as well as parts of Holt and Knox County, Sunday, September 18 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., to prepare for upgrades at the substation that serves the area.

The outage will impact Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) customers in the communities of Butte, Bristow, and Lynch, as well as the Village of Spencer, and Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation customers in rural Boyd County, northwestern Knox County, and northern Holt County. The planned outage is occurring so NPPD crews can begin making upgrades to the substation that serves these customers.

“Outages are not convenient for anyone but taking this planned outage will allow our crews to make needed upgrades to equipment at the substation and help ensure reliable service to the area for many years to come,” says NPPD Account Manager Brittney Koenig.

While the outage is taking place, crews from NPPD and Niobrara Valley will be completing some additional work on the distribution system in the area, that would otherwise require a planned outage to be completed. “We never like when any of our customers have to experience an outage, so taking advantage of this planned outage to complete additional work will prevent us from needing to take additional outages in the future,” notes Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation General Manager Matt Fritz.

NPPD and Niobrara Valley Electric Membership Corporation will begin reaching out to customers who will be impacted by the outage between September 12 and 14.

A second planned outage will be observed at a later date once the upgrades have been completed, to return the system to normal operation. The second planned outage has not been scheduled, but customers will be notified once a time and date has been set. NPPD works closely with the impacted public power companies and communities to schedule any planned outages.

9/2/2022
31st Nebraska Open brings continued support for local students

Columbus, Neb. - Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), will celebrate over three decades of supporting local students, as the 31st annual Nebraska Open tees of at Elks County Club in Columbus Thursday, September 8.

The Nebraska Open is an annual golf tournament and fundraiser, coordinated by NPPD, that has helped raise more than $1.8 million in scholarship funds over the last 31 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.

“The Nebraska Open has provided NPPD with a great avenue to support the students living and learning in the communities we serve,” says NPPD Communications Specialist and Nebraska Open event coordinator Christy Avery. “Supporting local education is an important piece of supporting our local communities and the future of their workforce.”  

The Nebraska Open kicks off with an 18-hole Pro-Am event on Thursday, 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 1991 and will conclude with an awards ceremony on Sunday, September 11.

The 2022 tournament is sponsored by 42 businesses, who’s donations help support the scholarships given to students at 11 different campuses across the state. Wells Fargo returns as the title sponsor for the 19th consecutive year, along with national, regional, and Columbus-based sponsors such as Behlen Mfg. Co, Kelly Supply Co., and Nebraska Energy Federal Credit Union.

9/2/2022
NPPD ranked as a top 20 Utility for Economic Development

Columbus, Neb. - For the first time in recent history, Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) has been ranked as one of the top 20 utilities in the country, for the organization’s efforts in economic development.

NPPD was recognized in the Top 20 Utilities in Economic Development, by Site Selection Magazine, a leading publication in corporate expansion and area development. “The elite Top 20 we named this year earned the honor amid a field of around 3,300 electric utilities across the country, including around 900 cooperatives,” says Managing Editor Adam Bruns of the rankings Site Selection has published since 1999. “Like the power they generate, their robust economic development teams and programs are well distributed throughout the country. And just as their generation and distribution portfolios turn toward renewables and smart technologies, these utilities’ economic developers are helping their communities pursue sustainable growth by cultivating the flow of smart capital and talent.”

“I’m excited for NPPD and Nebraska as a whole to be recognized for the growth and development we are experiencing,” said NPPD Economic Development Manager Nicole Sedlacek. “This ranking is the result of combining our economic development team’s hard work, with the outstanding service, low cost and reliable energy, and innovative rate products we provide all across the district.”

A few of the projects in NPPD’s retail and wholesale service territory, that helped make NPPD’s case to be in the top 20 included expansion of Compute North in Kearney which is served by NPPD at the retail level, Nelnet in Columbus which is served by Loup Power District, and the expansion of Green Plains Ethanol Central City which is served by Southern Public Power District (SPPD). NPPD sells power to both Loup and SPPD through wholesale power contracts.

Site Selection Magazine also took into consideration, a utilities’ website tools and data; innovative programs and incentives for business, which include energy efficiency and renewable energy programs; and the utility’s own job-creating infrastructure and facility investment trends. An example of this is NPPD’s Site readiness Assistance Program, which provides grants to help fund due diligence items to help get sites “shovel-ready” for potential development. This program has granted over $200,000 to 18 different sites in 4 years, including the Bradford Business Park in Norfolk where FieldWise, served by NPPD at the retail level, expanded their headquarters.

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.

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