Thirteen's the lucky number for Omaha Public Power District (OPPD). A subdivision of the Nebraska state government, OPPD generates and distributes electricity to residents and businesses in 13 counties in southeastern Nebraska. It operates and maintains its facilities without tax revenues and raises money for major construction through bonds. OPPD serves more than 352,000 customers in an area covering 5,000 sq. mi. The utility has a generating capacity of more than 3,220 MW, which is powered by nuclear, coal, oil, and natural gas sources. It sells wholesale power to other utilities and offers energy consulting and management services.
OPPD is the 12th-largest publicly owned electric system in the US in terms of numbers of customers served. The power district provides retail service to about 50 towns and wholesale to five. OPPD operates about 15,500 miles of electric line.
The organization boosted its generating capacity in 2009, opening a second generating unit with 682 MW of power capacity at its Nebraska City location, which allows it to sell more power off system. OPPD also plans to boost its generating capacity at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station by about 80 MW in 2012.
Like other utilities, OPPD is pushing conservation and green energy initiates to reduce carbon emissions with its customers as a service to help them control costs. It 2010 it offered its customers discount coupons to buy "smart" (fluorescent) light bulbs, and in 2011 the utility announced that it was studying how to support both the auto industry and customers regarding the larger numbers of electrical cars being introduced into its service region.
In pursuit of its goal of getting 10% of its retail energy from renewable sources by 2020, in 2011 OPPD reported that 4% of its retail sales came from green energy sources.
The company posted an almost 6% growth in revenues in 2011, driven by higher retail sales, primarily to due a flood-related regulatory revenue adjustment and by unusually hot weaker spiking power demand. The revenue growth outpaced expenses, despite higher operating costs related to protecting and maintaining the cOPPD's power plants during the flooding of the Missouri River that year.