The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


OPPD has a thorough plan to keep the lights on at CWS

June 17, 2019 | Terry Zank | commercial and industrial
College World Series®

College baseball’s post-season finale is Omaha’s premiere event. The College World Series is important to the players, coaches and fans in the stands, as well as to the millions of people who watch the games.

Weeks of advance planning and proactive measures ensure OPPD can keep the power flowing during the CWS.

Replacement power

OPPD employee replacing a streetlight fixture in downtown Omaha during College World Series
An OPPD streetlight crew replaces a streetlight bulb in downtown Omaha, outfitting it with an LED bulb.

For example, OPPD coordinates with the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) to ensure the ballpark’s automatic throw-over (ATO) switch is in good operating condition and critical spare parts are on hand. Should a problem occur on the circuit that feeds electricity to TD Ameritrade Park, the switch would transfer the load to another circuit.

MECA is responsible for the ballpark’s operation. OPPD and MECA, along with City of Omaha and NCAA officials, also conduct a walk-through of the ballpark site. This ensures key equipment is accessible to OPPD service vehicles, should they be needed.

“Over the years, we’ve developed an outstanding working relationship with the folks at MECA,” said OPPD’s Steve Fanslau, director – customer service, government & infrastructure. “We work closely with them prior to and during the CWS. We do all we can to maintain reliable electrical service throughout this event. It’s a great partnership.”

Cleaning and inspecting

Underground vaults house some of the electrical equipment near the ballpark, so MECA ensures manholes are accessible. Ahead of the CWS, OPPD pumps out any water and mud that may have collected in the manholes. The underground equipment is submersible, but dry manholes enable OPPD crews to have quick access, if necessary.

OPPD makes sure key parts are available for the onsite underground and overhead electrical equipment. They also develop a detailed staffing plan in the event crews need to respond.

This year, as part of its ongoing maintenance efforts, OPPD crews repaired and replaced streetlights in the area. Lights near the ballpark, leading to the airport, downtown and on interstate routes in the vicinity now feature LED fixtures.

All of these efforts support Omaha’s efforts to successfully host college baseball’s national championship event.

Reliable electricity is important to all OPPD customers. In this case, OPPD provides the power to keep the ballpark and scoreboard lit, and to enable broadcasters to share the festivities with fans everywhere.

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About Terry Zank

Terry Zank is a contributor to The Wire and senior digital channel specialist at OPPD, where he has worked for 30 years. He and his wife have three sons. Terry enjoys bike riding, playing racquetball, hiking, watching college football, watching great movies from years’ past, and citing quotes from those movies, much to his family’s chagrin.

View all posts by Terry Zank >

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