The Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) has launched a new energy initiative on January 22, 2009 that proposes an increase in the amount of renewable energy, especially wind energy. As per OPPD President W. Gary Gates, OPPD has set a target of 10% of the electricity provided to customers to be produced from renewable sources by 2020. To meet the target 400 megawatt (MW) of renewable energy would have to be added out of which 118 MW will come form wind in the next two years.

We do not know that all of our new renewable additions will be wind, but it is safe to say that wind energy will play an important role for us in the future, Gates said.

Gates further said that during the next three years, the Ft. Calhoun nuclear power plant would increase its energy output by another 75 mw.

Gates continued that the district is working to reduce the use of electricity by its customers by 50 MW by the end of 2012. It plans to offer a variety of energy-efficiency programs to reach that target.

That may require a little higher temperature in the summer in your house, Gates said. But that is where we’re gonna see … individual behavior changes in how we use electricity going forward.

OPPD, at present, has about 55 MW of renewable wind and landfill gas generation at its disposal.

Officials said THAT the plan will not increase residents electric bills. A change in state law made it possible for agreements to be formed with private development groups.

OPPD will purchase power from the builder and not have to make any capital investment.