Unlike utilities in other parts of the country, OPPD has been able to maintain a conservative, yet stable coal supply at its coal-fired generation stations. But that supply is lessening as the district pursues other sources of power generation, including renewables and natural gas.
One reason for the stability of OPPD’s supplies is its ownership of the Arbor Line stretch of railway from Lincoln to Nebraska City Station. This section of rail, with which OPPD contracts with Union Pacific Railroad for operation, ensures coal deliveries aren’t delayed due to the increased demand for rail transportation in the upper Midwest. In that region, some utilities have been forced to keep their coal stockpiles at lower-than-usual levels due to delivery delays.
Below, we chart the origin of OPPD’s coal, how much of it is used, as well as its future in the district’s generation portfolio.