Nebraska Power Association's June Newsletter. For more information check out our website at
Nebraska Power Association
June 2013

See You at the Nebraska State Fair!

Please join us for fun and educational activities about electricity at this year’s Nebraska State Fair, August 23 through September 2, at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Nebraska Power Association will have a booth in the Market Place section of the fair. Learn how Nebraskans keep electricity safe, affordable and reliable by putting the “Public” in Public Power! See you there!

Nebraska utilities sponsor country’s largest electric vehicle competition
Elkhorn, Wayne Take the Flags at State Power Drive

Electric vehicle teams from Elkhorn and Wayne captured the checkered flags in this year’s Power Drive championships, held May 4 in LaVista. Dozens of high school EV teams from across the state competed in preliminary rounds at Lincoln, Hastings, West Point and Omaha.
The Elkhorn team won the Standard Class competition while the Wayne team won the Advanced Class category.
Several Nebraska media outlets, including the Lincoln Star and WOWT-TV, covered the championship.

Held annually since 1998, the Power Drive competition gives high school students hands-on experience building a safe, energy-efficient, electric vehicle. Teams design and build electric-powered vehicles during the school year, and then student drivers test their creations against other teams in several categories: braking ability, endurance, maneuverability and overall design/construction.
During the May 4 final competition, teams battled cool temperatures, high winds and a little bit of rain and snow. But it didn’t dampen their competitive fire or creative spirit, as is evident from photos from this year’s competition. These photos, below, were taken by Rich Fiddelke; many more are available on the website he created for this event.
A combination of the competitive endurance rally, design engineering, and documentation supplied by each competing school determined the winners. Points were awarded in each category of Standard, Advanced and Exhibition, and were combined to tally a final score.
Cody Slater of Syracuse High School was the recipient of the $1,000 Power Drive Scholarship, and Callen Hedglen of Bellevue East received the $1,000 Paul High Scholarship.
Power Drive is co-sponsored by NPA members Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) as part of their commitment to Nebraska’s communities. Power Drive helps advance the development of electric vehicles while also nurturing the next generation of engineers and mechanics. Nebraska high schools sent nearly 50 race teams comprising 250 students to this year’s Power Drive competition.

May is Electrical Safety Month

May was National Electrical Safety Month, and locally owned utilities across Nebraska used that opportunity to remind customers of the need to exercise caution around electrical lines and appliances. 
Lincoln Electric System (LES) held a safety demonstration May 25 at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo (see photo from last year’s event). NPPD posted a safety quiz called “Zapped” on their homepage. NPPD also posted a free indoor electrical safety guide on its website. Like many Nebraska utilities, Cornhusker Public Power District’s website features electrical safety tips

Loup Power District Celebrates 80 Years of Service

Loup River Public Power District, Nebraska’s oldest public power district, is celebrating its 80th year of service in 2013. Loup Power District, a member of NPA, also was a founding member of the American Public Power Association (APPA).
According to a profile of Loup Power District in the June issue of Public Power magazine, the district’s 35-mile-long canal, which supports two hydroelectric generating plants, is recognized by the Nebraska Community Improvement Program as a top-20 “Project of the Century” for the 20th century. The entire hydroelectric system and some specific individual portions of it are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the article notes.
Loup Power District serves 18,500 retail customers — 14,600 residential and 3,900 commercial and industrial. Fifty-five percent of the utility's 230-MW load is industrial. Columbus, where Loup Power District is headquartered, is a manufacturing mecca on the Great Plains.
The article points out that one of the greatest challenges confronting Loup Power District today is the relicensing of its hydro system. The current license, issued in 1984, will expire next year. Hydro licensing today is starkly different from the regime in place in 1984. “It is costing us more to relicense our hydroelectric projects this time than it did to build the powerhouse and the canal back in the 1930s,” Neal Suess, Loup’s president and chief executive, told Public Power magazine.
You can read the full article by clicking here.

NPPD Cleans Up after April Severe Weather

Severe weather, including thunderstorms, ice, hail and high winds, rolled through Nebraska in early April, causing thousands of homes and businesses to lose power. Kearney and Butte were two areas hard-hit by the storms, but other communities across the state, including Basset, Long Pine, Inman and York, also were affected.
Nebraska Public Power District assigned over 50 line technicians to the Kearney area to help with power restoration efforts. 

Energy Efficiency Programs Ramp Up for Summer

The summer heat is fast approaching. To help offset the surge in electric usage — and monthly bills — that accompanies summer, Nebraskans are advised to check the website of their local utility for programs and rebates that could lower the cost of keeping cool this summer:
  • LES’ em*Powered™ program features an online energy check-up and free, convenient ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. LES customers may also take advantage of the utility’s Sustainable Energy Program incentives to save money and help reduce the need for energy during more expensive peak periods of the year.
  • NPPD continues to offer business customers lighting upgrades to help save money and improve lighting quality. NPPD also has a video showing how sealing leaks in your home is an easy and effective way to lower your monthly electricity usage.
  • OPPD is continuing its highly successful Air Conditioning Management Program, which pays participants to let the utility control a home’s air conditioning for brief periods when electric demand is highest.
More efficient equipment helps homeowners and businesses use electricity wisely. Nebraska’s locally owned utilities have many programs to help residential and business customers manage their electric usage and get more value from electricity. Check with your local utility for a current list of efficiency program and incentives. 

Like What You Read? Please Pass it On!

The Nebraska Power Association (NPA) wants to keep you informed about electricity issues in our state. We are glad you subscribe to this newsletter! We encourage you to forward this newsletter to others who want to be more “in the know” about electric and environmental issues in our great state. Your friends and colleagues can stay connected to NPA by signing up at the NPA website.
NPA is composed of Nebraska’s 169 locally-owned electric utilities that generate, transmit, and deliver electricity to homes, farms and businesses around the state. NPA’s website is a resource for information about our state’s electricity business, including our members’ work in energy conservation, environmental protection and energy education. 

Seeking New Ideas and Best Practices

The NPA website is a resource for all its member electric utilities as well as anyone who wants to stay abreast of the state’s dynamic electric business. We encourage readers to use our material in their work — whether it’s at a utility, in a classroom, or in your home or business.
The electricity business is going through a lot of changes, which could impact Nebraskans. The NPA and its locally owned utility members are addressing those issues in our state in a united fashion, based on our shared vision that we exist to improve the lives of our customers by providing low-cost, reliable and environmentally-responsible electricity.
NPA is eager to hear and share your news — about programs, ideas and approaches to providing customers with a better experience. Fresh insights are welcome from one corner of the state to the other. If your utility has learned something about providing service to customers more effectively, please send it to us! You never know — what you have learned could be used by utilities across the state. Our goal is to promote best practices across our 169 members. The only way we can do this is if you tell us what new, exciting and effective things you are doing.

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