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NPPD Pursues New Generation Projects

NPPD Pursues New Generation Projects
April 1, 2024

New growth is a thing to behold. We experience it this time of year as the world outside greens up, and plants begin to bud and put forth leaves. So, it seems fitting that as winter yields to spring, NPPD is pursuing the addition of new generation to meet the growing electrical needs of our customers.

It is exciting to see much of this load growth happening in rural parts of the state, spread across a number of our customers’ service territories. These expansions and new projects in agricultural and food processing industries, as well as data mining, will provide many counties and communities with the opportunity for significant capital investment, well-paying jobs and property tax relief for citizens.

NPPD is pleased to support this growth by investing in new generation and transmission resources that can adequately meet customers’ energy needs, while also providing much-needed energy capacity within the Southwest Power Pool’s Integrated Market – the energy market in which we buy and sell power.

Think of “capacity” as a baseball team, where it is the collective abilities of all the players in the dugout. This differs from “energy,” which is the collective effort of the players who actually take the field and play during the game. Capacity is there when we need it most, and this is especially critical when faced with capacity limitations that might occur with, say, intermittently available resources like wind or solar, which are dependent on Mother Nature to provide the fuel they need.

Specifically, the new generation we will add includes battery storage, dual fuel reciprocating internal combustion engines, and dual fuel combustion turbines. In turn, we’re also starting a process to extend Cooper Nuclear Station’s (CNS) operating license through 2054.

Though the new generation will not be used primarily for baseload generation like our workhorse plants, Gerald Gentleman Station or CNS, their added capacity and flexibility help support our ability to serve customers during times of high load, when fuel pricing is volatile, and during extreme weather events and outages.

For decades, NPPD has had a diverse generation mix, which has allowed us to carefully balance the reliability and resiliency of energy delivery with the affordability of that power and our goal to generate electricity in a way that protects our natural resources.

These new generation resources support this goal by complementing our overall fleet to create an even more balanced power system – one that is stronger, more resilient and more flexible. They will also help us maximize our generation in the SPP market so our plants run regularly, allowing us to take advantage of market pricing and bringing value back to our customers. As a not-for-profit public power entity, these earnings go right back into reinvestments in our facilities – ensuring we are operating and maintaining our plants well and keeping our rates affordable – which keeps money in our customers’ pockets.

The good news is that throughout NPPD’s lifespan, we’ve experienced periods of significant load growth, and we understand it comes in stages. Though a large endeavor, it is nothing we cannot handle with our talented and knowledgeable workforce.

Successfully operating all our plants, as well as maintaining the reliability and safety of our overall electric system, takes much planning and the proper execution. I am extremely proud of our team, which consistently pursues excellence and is determined to be the best of the best in the industry in all areas of business. In turn, they are proud to provide such a valuable service to Nebraskans, and they’re ready to get to work to accomplish our future goals.

As always, we are excited to work with our customers to continue to bring the best of public power to Nebraskans.

Visit nppd.com/generation to learn more details about our plan for new generation.

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