OPPD to discuss Fort Calhoun decommissioning, resource planning

The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) board is expected to vote Dec. 15 on its corporate operating plan (COP) on Dec. 15, OPPD said in a Nov. 17 news release.

During its Nov. 17 meeting, the board heard presentations on planning efforts, which are in keeping with OPPD’s commitment of no general rate increases through 2021.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) assesses the district’s generation mix as part of OPPD’s commitment to the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). The Nebraska-based district must submit plans to WAPA periodically to meet contractual requirements. The next filing is due in early 2017.

Key factors considered in the $1.1bn budget included: the implementation of SAFSTOR as the decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Station moves forward, construction of transmission facilities, low load growth as a result of improved energy efficiencies and changing customer usage trends and compliance with increasing regulations.

OPPD ceased operations at the 479-MW Fort Calhoun nuclear plant on Oct. 24 after 43 years of operation. Fort Calhoun was the smallest nuclear plant in North America when it closed. In addition to flat energy demand and low natural gas prices, OPPD officials had cited the fact that the EPA Clean Power Plan does not give credit for existing nuclear power plants.

OPPD currently has 570 workers currently at the plant. No more staff reductions will be announced until the first quarter of 2017, OPPD has indicated.

In addition, OPPD anticipates some planned outages during 2017. Nebraska City Station Unit 2 is expected to be offline for 45 days for boiler work. Repairs to Unit 1 of the Sarpy County station could take 30 days. Several shorter outages are expected for North Omaha and other peaking units.

The district continues to work toward a strategic directive of rates that are 20% below the regional average, OPPD said in a news release.

The IRP public meetings are scheduled Nov. 29 in Omaha; Nov. 30 in Blair; and Dec. 1 in Syracuse.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.