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Dawson PPD General Manager Gwen Kautz

Gwen Kautz

General Manager

This column is part of a two-part series. The second part will be published in the July Dawson Dynamo Newsletter.

Dawson PPD’s electric distribution utility system is a complex network of wires, transformers and other equipment that delivers electricity from power plants to substations to homes and businesses. In recent years, there have been several new technologies that have been developed to improve the efficiency, reliability and security of the electric distribution system.

At Dawson PPD, we believe in the power of technology. Our very own mission statement specifically addresses it: We exist to safely provide reliable, low-cost electricity using effective technology to meet our customers’ needs.

Let’s look at the technologies impacting us as users of electricity:

Smart Grid

Smart grid technology uses digital technology to collect and analyze data about the overall electric distribution system. This data can be used to improve the efficiency of the system, identify potential problems and restore power more quickly after outages.

Distributed Energy Resources

DER are small-scale energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, that are located near the point of use, like a home. DER can help to reduce reliance on traditional power plants and improve the reliability of the electric distribution system.


Cybersecurity technologies are being developed to protect the electric distribution system from cyber-attacks. These technologies can help to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, and they can also help to restore power after.

A future with microgrids

Both the smart grid and DER technologies could eventually give way to microgrid technology. Microgrids provide energy to a group of homes, for example, that are already connected by a utility’s poles and wires. We currently have customers with their privately-owned solar systems who could do this, but safety requirements and other restrictions are currently in place. We anticipate that this will change sometime in the future.

These new technologies are helping to make the electric distribution system more efficient, reliable and secure. As these technologies continue to develop, they will play an increasingly important role in the future of the electric distribution system.


Power line relocation is required for road project

Power line relocation is required for road project

Dawson Public Power District’s board was updated on a plan for construction at their meeting on April 3, 2024. The district is working with the Nebraska Department of Transportation on the Highway 83 upgrade, south of North Platte. Transmission and distribution power...

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