The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) says customers drove up their energy use to battle frigid temperatures on Jan. 6, causing the utility to set a new all-time winter peak for generating electricity. Wind power was there to help.
Between the hour of 7 and 8 a.m., NPPD generated an estimated 2,256 MW of electricity to meet customers' demand. The utility's previous all-time winter peak was 2,219 MW set in December 2009.
"NPPD was able to meet this highest level of demand, in part, due to our steady and stable supply of power generated by our nuclear and coal-fired facilities," says President and CEO Pat Pope. "But the wind also worked in our favor yesterday, contributing more than 216 MW for NPPD during the time of peak demand."
NPPD notes it also has hydropower resources and a natural gas, combined-cycle plant; however, due to widespread extreme cold and the high demand for natural gas for home heating and other purposes, the utility says it did not operate its natural gas generation because the fuel costs were up more than 300% over typical prices.
"Nebraskans benefit from NPPD's diverse portfolio of generating resources," adds Pope. "Using a combination of fuels means we deliver electricity using the lowest-cost resources while maintaining high reliability for our customers."