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Generating: Today & Tomorrow

For more than five decades, we have provided low-cost, reliable electricity to Nebraskans. Because of our success in keeping rates affordable and ensuring reliability is among the best in the nation, our state has become an attractive place to plant roots – not just for individuals, but for businesses, too.

Right now, there are many companies, particularly those in the agriculture industry, that are interested in calling Nebraska home. This presents great opportunities for rural communities to grow and prosper through enhanced job markets, capital investment, and additional revenue.

We are committed to supporting this coming expansion and will rise to meet the needs of existing and incoming customers by pursuing cost-effective, responsive solutions that will add new generation capacity to our diverse generation mix.

The planned generation will complement our existing fleet and strengthen our ability to be the affordable, reliable, resilient provider Nebraskans have come to know and trust. As we look toward the Nebraska of tomorrow, we are excited to partner with every customer, from the smallest of families to the largest of businesses, to make their aspirations a reality.

Reliable & Resilient

Diverse Energy Mix imageour diverse energy mix

New Generation Resources

We strive to generate and deliver the best energy value for Nebraskans

Chart showing average kilowatt cost per hour for homeowners
low rates

A diverse energy mix provides Nebraskans with some of the lowest energy costs in the nation without compromising reliability.

2023 Load Duration Curve
Load duration

View the maximum and minimum megawatt load on our electric system and the percentage of time at those levels.

Image showing new resource challenges and advantagesenergy resources

Resource types are evaluated to optimize reliability, affordability, resiliency, and sustainability to complement our generation mix

Why does NPPD have a need now for new generation?

  • As we prepare for customers’ future energy needs, NPPD closely tracks potential load growth. Our current estimates show that we could see a period of substantial load growth in the next five to 10 years, which has prompted our various teams to begin evaluating generation capacity.
  • The amendment to the 2024 capital budget is, in part, to begin the process of adding new generation capacity to our resource mix. We are getting the ball rolling as soon as possible to account for long lead times related to supply chain challenges and proper permitting.

Why is load growth suddenly on the horizon?

  • Utilities across the nation are facing similar load growth influx right now. When we analyze historical data, large growth such as this tends to occur in waves.
  • New and growing businesses are being particularly drawn to Nebraska right now because of the affordable, reliable power we are so proud to generate and deliver. Additionally, the organizations highly interested in our state tend to be in sectors directly related to or that complement Nebraska’s largest industry – agriculture.

What types of business interest are you seeing?

  • Our Economic Development team works hand-in-hand with many businesses discerning where they’d like to plant roots and resonating with Nebraska’s overall culture and values. Much of the interest we are seeing right now comes from ag-related operations and data centers.
  • The introduction of new businesses to rural Nebraska presents some great opportunities to the communities served by NPPD and its wholesale partners. Not only will incoming companies create jobs, but they will also add significant capital investment to the state and potentially help with property tax relief.

How does NPPD ensure we can reliably serve our customers today and tomorrow?

  • Reliability and resiliency have been pillars of public power for generations. In fact, NPPD consistently ranks among the best in the nation in metrics associated with the two. Adding generation capacity reaffirms our commitment to these priorities.
  • When load growth necessitates additions to our generation portfolio, the choice of which resources to add is evaluated by assessing results of long-range models like our Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), as well as attributes of the possible choices. Different generation types are suited to different needs and to maintaining a diverse and competitive generation mix overall.

Can NPPD pick and choose the load served?

  • Public power was created with an obligation to serve. What this means is as long as we have the capacity to serve, we do so fairly, regardless of the type of business or load.

What are the benefits of these new generation resources?

  • Combustion turbines reliably serve our load when it's at or near peak levels and provide resilience with quick-start ability.
  • RICE units are extremely fast-starting, as well as flexible, very efficient, and are great resources for balancing out variable or intermittent resources like wind and solar and responding to changing resource mix in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP).
  • Battery storage is important to store energy during times of abundance and hold it until load or energy prices are higher.
  • Additionally, pursuing a license extension at Cooper Nuclear Station ensures NPPD's largest source of carbon-free energy will continue to reliably serve our customers for decades to come.
  • These planned additions maintain diversity and complement NPPD’s overall fleet – an approach that allows us to best serve our customers.

How did NPPD choose these specific types of generation?

  • When adding any generation resources, NPPD carefully compares their cost, risk, environmental attributes, operating flexibility, and accredited capacity. View our energy resources evaluation.
  • As these factors are weighed, our experts strive to account for current and projected needs without sacrificing the reliability, resiliency, affordability, and sustainability our customers expect.

What is the timeline for new generation coming on-line?

  • The projected timeline for introducing the new generation resources listed above is currently 2027, but may adjust with supply chain availability and permitting processes. We proactively amended our 2024 capital budget to mitigate challenges that may arise as we work to meet the needs of our customers.

Where will these new generation resources be located?

  • Beyond the 50 MWs of battery storage located near the Ainsworth Wind Energy Facility, we are still undergoing a process to determine exact locations. Based on the SPP Interconnections Application the District submitted in the fall of 2023, we can confirm the new generation resources will be placed at current NPPD sites.
  • We will conduct due diligence with state and local regulating agencies to ensure all requirements are met for construction.

Why not just add renewable energy resources or more nuclear?

  • One of our strategic priorities is to mitigate our carbon business risk over the coming decades. Because of this, some might ask, “Why not just bring additional renewables on-line?” While renewables play an important role in a diverse energy mix, the relatively short timelines associated with this new load growth, the amount of capacity needed, and the still-evolving capabilities of carbon-free technologies necessitated an all-options exploration to optimize opportunities.  
  • Nuclear resources, such as small modular reactors, offer a great deal of potential for the future. Realistically, however, these are not yet a viable and economical generation option in the timeframe required to serve recent load growth as they are in initial stages of development and research.

How might this affect NPPD’s carbon business risk mitigation goals?

  • Our carbon business risk mitigation goals have not changed, but as the Board specified, they must be approached strategically in balance with reliability and affordability. A diverse generation mix in the present sets a strong foundation as we look ahead and work to lower emissions in the future.

How will the addition of new generation affect future rates?

  • Affordability is and has always been a high priority to our leadership, as evidenced by our rates continually ranking among the lowest in the nation.
  • That said, due to the sheer number of factors at play, there are no definitive figures on how the addition of new generation will affect rates down the road.
  • Our team is hard at work examining and calculating numerous potential outcomes, keeping its focus on the options and choices we can make that will minimize the rate impact to customers.