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Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


New EV program will measure impact on system

May 15, 2018 | Jodi Baker | electric vehicles, products & services

There are only about 600 electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the state of Nebraska, with about half of those located within OPPD’s 13-county service territory. However, with improving technology and increased availability, the EV market is poised for growth.

“We have been following developments closely and working to learn all that we can about the technology, as well as customer trends and preferences, and the potential impact increased usage would have on the utility,” said Heather Siebken, Director of Product Development and Marketing for OPPD.

The district is staying ahead of the curve through its EV Strategy and Processes initiative. The initiative team plans to launch an EV pilot this summer, with two main components.

First, OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase ChargePoint Home™ EV Charging Station for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway. Look for more details next month.


In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These include:

  • $4,500 rebate toward the purchase of both a new electric vehicle (only available for vehicles registered in Douglas County) and a ChargePoint Home™ charging station.
  • $500 rebate to customers who purchase ChargePoint Home™ charging stations for their homes via OPPD’s website.
  • $3,000 rebate at participating dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
  • Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)

“The initiative team will also evaluate adding more EVs to OPPD’s fleet, when it makes sense to do so,” said Mike Donahue, manager of Transportation and Construction Equipment for OPPD.

OPPD has already incorporated some electrified vehicles into its own fleet. The utility currently has:

  • 2 all electric Nissan Leaf EVs
  • 4 plug-in hybrids (2 Chevrolet Volts, Ford Fusion Energi, and Ford C-Max Energi)
  • 39 standard hybrids (Ford, Toyota and Honda)
  • 3 bucket trucks equipped with a battery-powered boom
  • 4 EV chargers

Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning. They will also develop a plan for managing those impacts.

Additionally, the district plans to install a mid-range (Level 2) charger for public use outside of its Energy Plaza headquarters, 444 south 16 St., Omaha.

The initiative team is presenting its findings and plans to OPPD’s Board of Directors during their May committee meetings.

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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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