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Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Number of customers generating their own electricity continues to grow

August 22, 2023 | Jason Kuiper | generation, products & services, renewables, solar
solar rebates customer-owned generation decarbonization

The number of customers who want to generate their own power continues to grow, and OPPD is helping them do so.

OPPD issued its 2,000th customer-owned generation (COG) interconnection application Aug. 9, an important milestone for the utility and its customers.

Just two years ago, OPPD issued its 500th COG interconnection application. Interest in customer-owned generation has continued growing ever since.

OPPD works with a group of trade allies that have met a list of qualifications and agreed to certain standards of conduct. The interconnection application is submitted by the trade ally on behalf of the customer. Once the system is installed, the customer receives a one-time rebate check from OPPD for $2,000.

Software changes have made it easier for solar installers to use the online application for customers. Customers can use a quick-start guide and pay-off calculator to see how long it will take the system to pay for itself.

“We’ve issued two-thirds of our applications in the last two years,” said Sam Hueser, product manager at OPPD. “And we have continually improved the process to make it quicker and easier to install COG systems.”

The majority of the 2,000 applications are for residential solar installations. but customers also install battery storage, wind turbines, grid-connected backup generators, and even a small hydroelectric generator, Hueser said.

New capacity milestone

And that isn’t the only milestone for OPPD this summer. The utility  surpassed 10 megawatts (MW) of net metered capacity in August.

“The energy produced by these systems is enough to power about 1,100 homes for an entire year,” Hueser said. “We are happy to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint.”

OPPD has several programs that help residential customers reduce their power use, such as the Cool Smart and Smart Thermostat programs. There are also rebates and other incentives to lower electrical usage. And commercial customers can several rebate programs for more efficient lighting and HVAC equipment.



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About Jason Kuiper

Jason Kuiper joined OPPD as a communications specialist in 2015. He is a former staff writer and reporter at the Omaha World-Herald, where he covered a wide range of topics but spent the majority of his career covering crime. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and has also appeared in several true crime documentary shows. In his free time he enjoys cooking, spending time with his wife and three children, and reading crime novels.

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