On Monday, April 14, over 40 OTOC and community leaders met with officials from OPPD, Nebraska Wildlife Foundation and Interfaith Power and Light to listen to different perspectives about Omaha’s energy future. OPPD staffers reviewed the various options which the utility faces in dealing with their coal burning North Omaha power plant. The North Omaha plant is very old and burns coal without the benefit of modern technology to reduce pollution. OPPD has to make major changes at the plant in order to meet federal Clean Air Act regulations by 2016.
According to OPPD, they have 4 options which include Retrofit to continue to burn coal; close and Replace the North Omaha plant with other sources of energy; keep the North Omaha plant and Refuel, using natural gas instead of coal to operate the plant; and Reduce the demand for energy by emphasizing conservation more aggressively.
Duane Havorka of Nebraska Wildlife Foundation commended OPPD for their progress in increasing the share of renewable energy in OPPD’s mix of power generation sources, but laid out why OPPD must stop using coal and rely on other energy sources in the future. Rev. Kim Morrow of Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light discussed some of the religious traditions and practical reasons why people of faith must learn about sustainable energy and begin to take action to make our households, churches and lives more sustainable.
OTOC leaders have formed a new Environmental Sustainability Action Team which will continue to educate OTOC member institutions and the public about the importance of adopting sustainability strategies in Omaha and Nebraska. For the next several months, they will seek to educate OTOC member congregations about the long range impact of the decisions which the OPPD board will make. To learn more about the Energy Future of OPPD, you can go to their website and rewiew their materials. Go to http://www.oppdlistens.com/onlinemeeting/ . To tell the OPPD Board how they should the relative importance of sustainability, affordability and reliability of energy sources, go to: http://www.oppdlistens.com/meetingcommentform/
OPPD Public Meeting set for Wednesday May 7 to examine options and costs:
OPPD will hold a public meeting from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m on Wednesday, May 7 at the Scott Conference Center, (Center Room) 6450 Pine St, to introduce the options and associated costs which the OPPD staff will present to the OPPD Board. The OPPD Board will consider and discuss these options at their meeting on Thursday, May 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the OPPD headquarters located at 444 S. 16th St.