The Wire

Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


Top stories of 2020 have common theme

January 4, 2021 | Laura King-Homan | OPPD employees
reinforce transmission structures, A temporary structures goes out into the Platte River so workers can reinforce the towers.

The top 10 stories of 2020 on The Wire reflect all of the notable events of the year. From major announcements to powering through the pandemic, the work of OPPD employees didn’t stop.

And The Wire continued to provide information around traditional utility topics such as tree trimming and structures.

Here are the top 10 stories on The Wire for 2020, according to page views.

10. Transmission structure rebuilds. After the historic floods of 2019, OPPD worked to reinforce transmission towers that were impacted by shifting river channels. The work ensured the structures could withstand another flooding event.

9. Lightning arresters. This How Does That Work post continues to be a perennially top post on The Wire. OPPD installs the arresters at substations and on overhead power lines to provide a path to ground for lightning and other power surges.

8. Community solar up and running. Early in 2020, the utility’s first community solar facility went live, providing 5 megawatts of renewable energy. Customers can view the facility’s activity in real time on its generation dashboard.

7. Employee profile, Chris Vrtiska. The Wire features many employee profiles, including this one of a long-time employee who is taking on a new role in an area for which he is passionate.

6. Powering Through the Pandemic: Employee spotlights. The COVID-19 pandemic brought additional challenges for OPPD employees. This series spotlighted some of the work in various areas of the utility.

5. Shield wires. Another How Does That Work post, this story provides an overview of the wires installed on high-voltage transmission power lines to protect them from lightning.

4. Backup natural gas generation. In September, OPPD leadership presented details about two new backup natural gas generation facilities. These facilities are part of the utility’s Power with Purpose project that also includes solar generation.

3. Powering Through the Pandemic: Keeping the power flowing remains top priority. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to worsen in March, OPPD took steps to ensure its operations were not impacted by the pandemic. These cautious and thoughtful steps ensured continued service for customers as they began to work from home and conduct remote learning.

2. Who is responsible for tree trimming? It’s a common question for homeowners, and an important area of OPPD’s operations. Properly trimmed trees near electrical equipment ensure limbs don’t interrupt power in the event of a storm. This article lays out who is responsible for trimming situations and is a consistently top post on The Wire.

1. COVID-19 customer solutions. It is no surprise that a pandemic-related story topped the list for 2020. As customers faced financial hardship related to business closures, OPPD worked to get them assistance to pay their utility bills.

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About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the supervisor, Brand and Communication Operations, at Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

View all posts by Laura King-Homan >

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