The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


A look back at The Wire’s top 10 stories of 2023

January 9, 2024 | Julie Wasson | energy efficiency, energy savings, generation, mutual aid, powerful life, renewables, solar
A solar facility to be built on a shuttered Douglas County landfill is one of The Wire's top 10 stories of 2023.

The Wire’s top stories for 2023 include plans to build a solar facility on a shuttered Douglas County landfill, profiles of two employees and their meaningful contributions to OPPD, and the utility’s $2 billion plan to greatly expand generation to meet growing customer demand in the years ahead.

Here are the top 10 stories on The Wire for 2023, based on page views.

10. ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’ OPPD sent a mutual aid team to Florida in September to help restore power after Hurricane Idalia knocked out power to roughly 556,800 electricity customers in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Over the course of nine sweltering days, OPPD employees encountered catastrophic damage, along with rattlesnakes, gator-filled ponds and more.

9. Preserving a rich legacy on the lines. Steve Neuverth is OPPD’s longest-tenured lineman. He may be in the twilight of his career, but his passion for the job hasn’t waned one iota. And he’s passing along that passion, along with knowledge and the traditions of lineworkers, through his work as a mentor to apprentice lineworkers. “It feels good to teach them things, so they don’t struggle.”

8. Balancing station technicians help keep the power flowing. OPPD uses balancing stations to generate electricity quickly, and sometimes on short notice, when other sources dwindle or demand rises. The technicians who work in these stations monitor and maintain generation units throughout OPPD’s service territory, using strong technical and troubleshooting skills in a variety of ways to help keep the power flowing.

7. Board approves OPPD plan for substantial generation growth. OPPD’s Board of Directors approved the utility’s proposal nearly to nearly double the district’s maximum rated generation output by 2030 in response to rapidly rising demand. The solution will mean an estimated capital investment of more than $2 billion.

6. Pursuing a potential solar project. Over the summer, OPPD acquired the rights to an existing solar project, K-Junction Solar, west of McCool Junction in York County. The utility is pursuing the possible development of a 310-megawatt, roughly 3,000-acre solar project.

5. OPPD recommends substantial generation additions. With demand for power soaring, OPPD expects to add an unprecedented 100 megawatts annually over the next several years. In May, the utility presented its Board of Directors with a plan to greatly expand its generation portfolio. The plan had a special focus on renewable energy to provide reliable, affordable power, with a smaller environmental impact.

4. Tax credits can help you make key home improvements. The federal Inflation Reduction Act offers incentives that you can use to make upgrades to your home that will help you reduce your energy costs, make your home more energy efficient, and use more sustainable power sources.

3. Limbach blazed new trails. Cheryl Limbach never intended to be a trailblazer at OPPD, someone who took leadership positions never before held by women. But that’s exactly what happened. It wasn’t always easy, she said, but it was worth all her hard work.

2.  OPPD’s battery storage project comes online. The utility’s first lithium-ion battery went live in March, the culmination of nearly three years of planning and testing. A utility-scale battery can help the district with overall capacity. The energy it stores will be able to power a small area of the grid, freeing up resources to energize other parts. On the hottest days of the year, the battery storage system could help prevent a nearby circuit from overloading, tripping and causing an outage.

1. Landfill to gain new life. A shuttered Douglas County landfill will gain new usefulness as the first site of its kind in Nebraska to house a solar array. The project is a joint effort between OPPD and Douglas County, with grant funding provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust.


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About Julie Wasson

Julie Wasson is the brand journalism strategist at Omaha Public Power District and the editor of The Wire. She has more than 25 years of print journalism and social media experience, including two stints at the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Julie Wasson >

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