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Priority: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions


Apr 4, 2022


OPPD’s mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally-sensitive energy services to its customer-owners. The best way to measure OPPD’s environmental sensitivity is through the district’s greenhouse gas emissions. As you might expect, the district’s emissions are significant, but fortunately they’re decreasing.

When I first joined the board in 2017, the district had a goal to generate 10% of its customers’ demand with renewable energy by 2020. OPPD had already surpassed that goal and had plans to get to 30+% of its generation from renewables. In 2021, the district produced about 40% of its electricity from renewable sources. In terms of emissions, this means the district has decreased its CO2/MWh (a measure of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of electricity produced) by 27% just in the last year (2021 vs. 2020).

In late 2019, the board set a new goal: Conduct all operations in a manner that strives for the goal of net zero carbon production by 2050.

OPPD was the first utility in Nebraska to set a net zero goal, and now net zero goals are in place for major utilities across the state. Importantly, our goal is for all operations, which means the district aims to dramatically reduce its emissions not only from its electricity generation, but also from its fleet of vehicles, its building energy consumption, and all other carbon-emitting sources. It’s a holistic goal that includes nearly every part of the organization in achieving the goal.

Many OPPD customer-owners place a high priority on reducing their own carbon footprint, and OPPD is a key player in helping them achieve these goals. In the short-term, OPPD will cease coal operations at the North Omaha Station by the end of 2023. The district also has plans to add 400 - 600 MW of utility-scale solar in the next few years. More additions of wind and solar are likely between now and 2030.

Beyond the addition of utility-scale renewables, there are many programs aimed at reducing emissions. They include electrification of the OPPD fleet, smart thermostat programs, LED street lights, battery pilot project, several energy efficiency programs, customer-owned solar generation, community solar, an EV rebate program, net metering, and many more!

I am pleased with the progress we’ve made to reduce our environmental footprint, but there is much work to do, and I aim to ensure we continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining affordability and reliability for our customer owners.


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