Electricity generation. This is a very complex process, with several variables and now even some political pressure added to the mix. I believe that we oftentimes forget what all goes into the sausage making process, but instead we just enjoy eating the sausage. Nebraska is unique in that we are 100% Public Power state. I think it is important that we all know what generation resources we are collectively buying. I am referring to the generation resources that we all pay for through indirect payments we make by paying our light bills.
Here is a list of generation resources owned by you the ratepayer through our wholesale provider, NPPD:
- Gerald Gentleman Station: 1,365 MW of coal
- Cooper Nuclear Station: 810 MW of nuclear
- Beatrice Power Station: 250 MW of natural gas
- Sheldon Station: 225MW of coal
- Nebraska City 2: 162 MW of coal
- Canaday Station: 100 MW of natural gas
- Ainsworth Wind Facility: 60 MW of wind
- Hallam Peaking Unit: 56 MW of oil
- McCook Peaking Unit: 54 MW of oil
- Hebron Peaking Unit: 52 MW of oil
- North Platte Hydro: 24 MW of hydro
- Kearney Solar: 7 MW of solar
- Scottsbluff Solar: 94 MW of solar
- Kearney Hydro: 1 MW of hydro
- Venagno Solar: .096 MW of solar
NPPD has additional arrangements that increase the generation capacity of NPPD and ultimately serving customers of Stanton County Public Power District. These power generators are not owned by NPPD but are instead owned and operated by another utility such as a municipal or a private investor. These include 93 MW of oil/natural gas generation through 12 capacity purchase agreement with municipalities (publicly owned) across the state of Nebraska. There are 82 MW of generation through three hydropower purchase agreements (publicly owned) that NPPD received 100% of the generation output. NPPD also has Power Purchase Agreements for 281 MW of wind capacity (investor owned) located in various site in Nebraska.
Nebraska is also unique in that it has over 600 MW of irrigation load control. The ability to control this load offsets additional generation requirements. As the load climbs in the peak of summer, irrigation load control is used to shave a short-term, high usage events on the system. This ability can prevent the need to purchase very expensive energy from the market, or simply preserve the reliability of the system by preventing overload. Individual distribution systems such as Stanton County PPD, have installed systems to make load control available. Ultimately, we can save ratepayers money and ensure the integrity of the system with this investment of ratepayer dollars.
As you can see there are several pieces to this Nebraska-Style generation mix that makes it all work. I am not trying to over-simplify the process, but generation must match the load to be served. This can be very challenging at times when load is rapidly increasing or decreasing, and intermittent generation is moving as well. At the end of the day, we all want the lights to come on when we flip the switch. Our job is to make sure we keep it that way.
We have a very diverse energy mix and it has served the ratepayers of Nebraska very well. We all enjoy some of the lowest rates in the country along with very high reliability. We also have 61% carbon-free resource mix at our wholesale level. This resource mix is among one of the best in the nation. Two of the pillars of Public Power in Nebraska are reliable and affordable. This generation mix currently used to serve all of us at Stanton County Public Power District have been answering that call for many years.
It can be all too easy to overlook things we see every day – such as overhead power lines. However, failure to notice high voltage power lines can be a deadly oversight.
We encourage everyone to look up and around you. When you are working, playing or hunting outdoors please keep these things in mind:
- Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long tools like ladders, pool skimmers, and pruning poles.
- Be careful when working on or around your roof – installing rooftop antennas and satellite dishes, installing or cleaning gutters, or doing repair work.
- Keep all equipment and yourself at least 10 feet from lines.
- Never trim trees near power lines – leave that to the professionals.
- Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines are not touching the tree, they could come in contact when more weight is added to the branch.
Heat Pumps: What are they and what do they do?
In general, a heat pump extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another (similar to now an air conditioner or refrigerator cools). In warmer months, a heat pump takes heat from inside a home and relocates it outdoors, helping to make your home cooler. In the cooler months, a heat pump produces heat energy from the outside and moves it inside, which helps to warm your home.
Do They Safe Energy?
Since heat pumps move heat, instead of create it, they do save energy! Energy.gov estimates that today’s heat pumps can reduce a home’s electricity use for heating by approximately 50% compared to traditional systems like furnace and baseboard heaters.
Is there more than one type? There are 4 primary types:
- Air-to-Air or Air-Source pumps are the most common and are powered by electricity.
- Air-to-Water heat pumps are actually a special type of air-source heat pump called a “reverse cycle chiller”and can be used with radiant floor heating systems.
- Geothermal heat pumps can heat, cool, and even supply hot water to a home by transferring heat to or from the ground (or nearby water source)
- Absorption heat pumps are similar to air-source heat pumps except they use alternative energy sources such as natural gas.
Our online payment gateway, SmartHub, is available on this website or you can download the app to your smart phone. You can pay your bill, track usage and so much more!
You can find a link on the website, www.scppd.net, to help you login and start tracking your usage. You can find ways to reduce your energy consumption and save money!
If you do not wish to set up an account, you can simply pay your amount due by clicking the “Pay Now” link and using your account number to connect to the payment gateway. Your payments are posted within 5 minutes of transaction confirmation. There is also an option to sign up for automatic payment transactions using your credit or debit card. These reoccurring transactions will process on or about the 17th of each month.
You can download the SmartHub app just like any other! Search on your smart phone and download it for free. Take advantage of this payment option that is available 24 hours a day, and wherever you need it to be!