Letter to the Editor

Sierra Club: NPPD going nowhere fast for state's energy future

Thursday, December 14, 2017

LYONS, Nebraska -- Today, the Sierra Club released a new report featuring the environmental organization’s analysis of the Nebraska Public Power District’s recently released strategic plan for achieving low-cost electric service to its customers.

The Sierra Club’s white paper, entitled Nebraska Public Power District - Going Nowhere Fast, examines three major troublesome risks in the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) 5-year plan:

* NPPD’s choice to forego the cost-saving renewable energy resources like wind and solar.

* Dissatisfied customers leaving NPPD, putting the strain of aging and expensive coal plants on remaining customers.

* NPPD not addressing the utility’s growing glut of capacity that is increasingly costly in today’s energy markets.

The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) has announced it will reach the level of 50% clean energy in its retail sales by 2020, up from 12.5% in 2016. In contrast, NPPD’s proposed 5-year plan plots out a course where clean energy will remain constant at 18.5% of its retail sales with no planned increase from 2016 to 2022. NPPD’s business-as-usual attitude toward resource planning is increasingly isolating the power district and its customers within the state of Nebraska. Their plan proposes a do-nothing approach in spite of exciting changes in the energy market that have brought millions of dollars in savings to utilities across the region, including both Lincoln Electric System and Omaha Public Power District.

John Crabtree, Nebraska Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign released the following statement:

Nebraska is falling behind other states in the region as well, Wind energy only accounts for 10% of Nebraska’s in-state electricity generation, while it accounts for 30% in Kansas and 37% in Iowa despite the fact that both of those states generate more electricity overall.”

The Sierra Club’s white paper can be viewed here.

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