October 23, 2018 Read More →

Omaha utility expects renewables to generate 40% of its power in 2019

Omaha World-Herald:

The Omaha Public Power District board is stepping in to stop the fight over OPPD’s next major environmental policy — and trying to send both sides home as winners.

The utility’s updated proposal weaves together the competing approaches of customers who want OPPD to set specific goals for how much renewable energy it uses and those who would rather the district reduce its carbon footprint, however possible.

The board’s latest draft of Strategic Directive 7 does both, setting a “long-term goal” of OPPD providing at least 50 percent of its retail electricity from renewable sources while also aiming to reduce the utility’s overall “carbon intensity” by 20 percent from 2010 to 2030.

“There’s nothing wrong with adding that 50 percent,” said Russ Baker, director of OPPD’s environmental and regulatory affairs. “It’s not going to change our direction, and it will really work hand-in-glove with the reduction in carbon intensity.”

OPPD already expects its percentage of retail electricity from renewable sources to approach 40 percent in late 2019, when a wind energy project in northeast Nebraska comes online. The utility’s percentage of retail sales from renewable sources was 5.1 percent as recently as 2010.

More: OPPD proposes goals of 50% renewables, 20% cut in ‘carbon intensity’

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