- The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) will retire three coal-burning units at its North Omaha Station in 2016 and use expanded demand response (DR) and energy efficiency (EE) programs to make up for the 300 megawatt loss of generation.
- The other two units at the 638 megawatt station, which went online in 1954, will be retrofitted with emissions controls and continue to burn coal until 2023, when they will be transformed to burn natural gas.
- The changes, part of a new 20-year plan in anticipation of new EPA emissions regulations, were approved unanimously by the OPPD board and are expected to cost an estimated $53 million which, a Black & Veatch study found, will require an estimated 2% rate increase.
Renewables are expected to provide a third of OPPD’s generation by 2018.
OPPD plans to drive customer uptake of demand response and energy efficiency through rebates for upgrades at homes and businesses.
The transition away from coal will affect some 50 jobs through attrition, retraining and reassignment.
The Nebraska Public Power District, the Central Iowa Power Cooperative, and the Midwestern powerhouse utility Berkshire Hathaway Energy are also doing emissions control upgrades and shifting to natural gas, renewables, and demand response and energy efficiency.