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Dawson PPD General Manager Gwen Kautz

By Gwen Kautz, Dawson PPD General Manager

A couple weeks ago, Nebraska Public Power District announced that they would be conducting public information forums to gather opinions regarding the future of NPPD’s power generation mix.

In addition to the public forums, a survey will be available from August 11 – September 1.  The online survey is available to anyone. Anyone includes people in the state of Nebraska as well as those who don’t live here. This is concerning that NPPD might let outside interests dictate what Nebraska does related to carbon reduction. At Dawson PPD we’ve never been against renewable energy, but it must make financial sense for our customers and for our state. Subsidies create a false impression of great savings when renewables are discussed. 

We’ve been assured that the outside responses will be filtered out via technology, but we’re still concerned. Special interest groups will likely stack the deck in their favor. We are asking our customers to attend these public forums and to answer the survey. 

Your opinion counts – even if you haven’t been studying the carbon issue. You experienced the rolling blackouts in February. This can and will happen again if we rely on wind or solar to be the larger option for energy in Nebraska. It is imperative that the energy production in Nebraska have several reliable, low-cost, unsubsidized sources which can be controlled and dispatched. We cannot control the wind or the sun.

Nebraska already has a diversified energy generation portfolio that is 65 percent carbon free. Our state has the 16th lowest energy rates in the nation. A mandate to increase renewable generation while calling for a reduction of coal used to generate power will change that drastically. Do not let that happen without your input. We are making natural steps to increase our renewable options, so the financial impact isn’t completely on the rate payer’s shoulders. Those steps are also designed to keep our power low cost and reliable. 

We can all support a cleaner energy future, but let’s do so without setting unrealistic goals that are expensive to meet. Let us stay the current course so that your power continues to be reliable and affordable. 

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