(308) 324-2386
Renewable energy infographic

At the May Board Meeting, Dawson PPD directors voted on the level of on-peak irrigation demand that the District will try to maintain through load management this summer.

Dawson PPD and its irrigation customers work together to keep energy costs affordable through the load management program in cooperation with its wholesale provider, Nebraska Public Power District. Dawson PPD is the 4th largest wholesale customer of NPPD. In 2023, Dawson PPD’s irrigation customers helped save $437,892 in electrical costs.

When Dawson PPD’s electric grid reaches the established threshold, Dawson PPD will shed load, or turn off power, to participating customers. This lowers Dawson PPD’s energy consumption during peak use times and saves on its wholesale power bill. In turn, the savings are passed to Dawson PPD’s customers in the form of steady rates and electrical system improvements.

The Board inspected Dawson PPD’s latest addition to its fleet: a digger derrick with a reach of up to 92 feet. Over the next few years, the District plans to work on several transmission projects requiring taller poles. Today, Dawson PPD must rent cranes or hire contractors to complete some of these jobs. This vehicle eliminates the necessity of expensive crane rentals for those structural tasks and providing long-term cost savings for customers. Given Dawson PPD’s long-range work plan, the utility anticipates savings to be realized within a year or two.

With the end of the 108th Legislative Session, new laws will impact Nebraska public power districts, including Dawson PPD. Some bills of note are:

  1. LB 287 will create a new statewide website intended to serve as a repository of public notices. Starting on January 1, 2025, public meeting notices shall be published in the local newspaper, posted on the newspaper’s website, and submitted to the statewide website.
  2. LB 304 requires political subdivisions to disclose annual membership dues and lobbying fees.
  3. LB 969 has increased the dollar amount for the sealed bid process from $250,000 to $750,000 for utilities with gross revenues less than $500 million, such as Dawson PPD.
  4. LB 1358 – Each public power district with a gross revenue of less than $500 million may pay compensation to the board of directors not to exceed $13,440, and the President may not exceed $15,120.

Also in May’s meeting:

  • Irrigation load management tests will be conducted May 14 and 15. Impacted customers will be notified in advance.
  • Dawson PPD’s revenue is currently 7% over budget, but 3% less than last year.
  • The Board approved an update to the form for Customer Policy 209 regarding a public records request. It was updated to better reflect the language of Nebraska State Law.
  • The Government Emergency Telecommunications Service and Wireless Priority Service programs have announced that electric utilities are eligible for priority access to cell phone service in the event of a natural disaster. Dawson PPD is currently working to integrate this program with Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
  • Dawson PPD will be hosting its annual Utility Line Camp on May 23. The camp is available to high school aged youth.
  • Nebraska Public Power District Account Manager Chris Hegert educated the Board on how the wholesale power bill is calculated and what factors are considered. Dawson PPD and NPPD are currently in discussions for renewing their wholesale power contract. NPPD plans to have a wholesale rate increase in 2027 and 2028.
  • The Dawson PPD Board Finance Committee is currently working to update financial standards, which will help steer conversations during a planned rate study later in 2024.
  • Tree trimming and removal contractors are currently working in the Kearney, Lexington, and Eustis areas.
  • The next board meeting will be Wednesday, June 12.


Translate »