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Here comes the sun: OPPD awards contract for community solar

June 7, 2018 | Jodi Baker | community, renewables

Omaha Public Power District’s plans for a community solar project are moving forward.

At the OPPD Board of Director’s June 7 meeting, the board received an update on the project, including size and location.

OPPD awarded a 20-year power purchase agreement to a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The agreement is to build a 5-megawatt solar facility in Fort Calhoun.

When the community solar program is finalized, OPPD customers will have the opportunity to purchase shares of the solar energy produced. The utility will be developing the marketing campaign for these solar shares in the coming months. Stakeholder outreach will be part of this process.

OPPD received 105 proposals for community solar from 10 developers. The utility narrowed that field to a short list of 33 proposals from seven developers. The NextEra proposal stood out due to the company’s experience, reputation, flexibility and environmental sensitivity.

“We’re pleased to have been selected by OPPD for this important project,” said Matt Handel, vice president of development for NextEra Energy Resources. “We look forward to working with OPPD to bring the benefits of clean, renewable solar power to its customers.”

The OPPD facility is located on 35 acres east of Fort Calhoun in Washington County. Per contract terms, the facility will go into operation by June 30, 2019.

“Fort Calhoun is excited to be a part of the first OPPD community solar project,” said Fort Calhoun Mayor Mitch Robinson. “We feel this is the start of a great partnership with OPPD and NextEra, to bring more green energy to the community and the surrounding area.”

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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker writes stories and shoots videos for The Wire. Jodi was a television news reporter before she came to work for OPPD as a media specialist in 2013. Jodi earned her degree in broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. She's worked for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to sunny San Diego. She’s married with two bright and energetic children (a boy and a girl) and an allergy-ridden little Cairn Terrier. She and her husband enjoy catching up on some grown-up DVR time once the kiddos are asleep.

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