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Energy news from Omaha Public Power District


OPPD earns praise for efforts to reduce emissions

November 7, 2022 | Jodi Baker | environment, renewables
GEN_Valmont and PwP 2022 group photo
OPPD and Valmont employees stand in front of some of the transmission poles that Valmont is providing for OPPD’s Power with Purpose project.

Omaha Public Power District is receiving recognition for working to reduce emissions on its path to a goal of net-zero carbon production by 2050. Valmont Industries presented the utility with its Environmental, Social Governance (ESG) award for the organizations’ joint work on a portion of OPPD’s Power with Purpose (PwP) project.

reduce emissions GEN_Valmont and PwP 2022 with award
Valmont Industries recently honored OPPD for its efforts to reduce emissions. From left: Shannon Eggert, vice president and general manager of Valmont Utility; Troy Via, COO and vice president of utility operations at OPPD; and Lisa Olson, vice president for Public Affairs at OPPD.

Through PwP, OPPD will add 400 to 600 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale solar and up to 600 MW of natural gas balancing generation. The project will provide the needed generation for the growing communities across OPPD’s 13-county service territory. It’s one of the largest renewable energy projects in the Midwest.

Valmont Utility, a Valmont company, is working with OPPD to build transmission lines to connect two new natural gas balancing plants being built – Turtle Creek Station in Sarpy County and Standing Bear Lake Station in Douglas County – to the electric grid.

OPPD Vice President of Public Affairs Lisa Olson accepted the ESG award on OPPD’s behalf Nov. 2, as part of a tour of Valmont’s Valley, Nebraska, facility organized for utility leaders.

“The solar and natural gas assets we’re building support OPPD’s unwavering mission to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to customers,” Olson said. “We’re proud to lead the way we power the future in this ever-changing energy landscape.”

Working together

During the recent tour, Valmont representatives showcased their work to engineer 263 total transmission structures, including more than 2,200 separate structural components to support the lines. These pieces were specially customized for the landscape on which they will be located.

“Valmont has made remarkable strides to minimize our environmental impact in Omaha and around the world, while creating increasingly efficient and sustainable solutions for our customers,” said Aaron Schapper, Valmont group president of Infrastructure. “Conserving resources and improving life is our tagline and purpose here at Valmont, and it’s at the forefront of all we do.”

Valmont has stepped up its carbon reduction efforts in recent years, achieving more than 18,000 metric tons of carbon emission reductions since 2018. Over the past 40 years, Valmont’s products have not only evolved to meet their own conservation goals, but also the utility industry’s need to balance clean energy with reliability and resiliency.

“The OPPD project provides the ability to increase load growth, which requires grid resiliency for uninterrupted power.” said Valmont Utilitiy President Chris Colwell. “We are also addressing heightened demand for renewable energy sources and the need to support investments in the electrical grid. Through these efforts, we are hardening the grid while softening climate impact through the strength of our utility structures.”

You can read more about Power with Purpose at To learn more about Valmont’s commitment to sustainability, see the company’s sustainability page.

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About Jodi Baker

Jodi Baker contributes stories to The Wire in addition to serving as a media liaison for OPPD. She was a reporter, working for news stations from her hometown of Omaha to San Diego, prior to joining the utility in 2013. Jodi has a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, with a minor in Criminal Justice. She’s married with two older children and two younger dogs – Shi Tzu mixes. She loves watching her daughter’s track meets, going to concerts with her husband Dave, who used to co-host a local music video program, and traveling whenever possible.

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