- :: Norris Public Power District


On behalf of Norris Public Power District and all of the employees who have chosen to dedicate their careers to serving you, I would like to take this opportunity to extend warmest wishes to you and your family during the holiday season.

It has been a pleasure to serve each and every one of you this year and we look forward to what the District will achieve in 2015 and in the years ahead.

Bruce Vitosh
General Manager/CEO


 Looking Forward to 2015

Bruce Vitosh--General Manager and CEO

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The electric utility industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace.  It is a challenge for the District’s Board of Directors and management to project how opportunities and threats facing our industry will ultimately impact our customers.  As we analyze and make decisions regarding each of these matters, we cannot lose sight of our mission which is to provide electricity and related services to customers at competitive prices, in the safest, most reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

 Some topics on the horizon that the District is focusing on include power supply options, energy markets, distributed generation, aging distribution facilities, advanced metering infrastructure, prepaid metering, energy efficiency, flat load growth for certain customer classes, technology advancements impacting operations and customer communications, cyber security, carbon emission rules, renewable energy mandates, etc.  This list is quite extensive but is not all inclusive. 

 Significant items that the District will be focusing on in 2015 are:

 No Customer Rate Increase for 2015

 I am very happy to report that for the second consecutive year, the District will not have a customer rate increase.  The District is financially sound and based on revenues, costs and capital improvement projections for 2015, the District’s Board of Directors approved no change to the customer rate schedules that have been in place since January 2013.  

 Nebraska Public Power District Power Supply Agreement     

 Over the last two years, the District and other wholesale power customers of Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) have been discussing power supply arrangements past the expiration of the existing wholesale power agreement in 2021.  NPPD has been an excellent provider of power and other related services to the District over the years.  The District is interested in continuing our long term relationship with NPPD.  However, other power supply opportunities are available and will be considered.

 Norris to Consider a Wind Energy Project

 The District’s Board of Directors recently approved District personnel to work with Bluestem Energy Solutions from Omaha, Nebraska to study and develop a potential wind energy project within the District’s service territory.  The District’s current wholesale power agreement with NPPD allows the District to purchase three percent of its power requirements from renewable energy sources, which would equate to three commercial size wind turbines.

 The District is considering this project because of the potential cost savings that the District may realize by purchasing energy from the wind developer.  Bluestem would be responsible for developing, constructing, operating and maintaining the wind turbines.  The District would have a purchase power agreement with Bluestem and not undertake any risk associated with the wind turbines other than the financial risk of locking in a fixed energy price for an extended period of time. 

 Since the wind turbines would be located within the District’s service territory, property taxes would be paid by the wind developer and landowners would receive lease payments for wind turbines located on their property.  In addition, the District would be adding more renewable energy to its energy portfolio, which is becoming more important due to more stringent regulations regarding carbon emissions.    

There are numerous factors that will be considered when choosing the potential site, including the property’s terrain, environmental concerns, wind characteristics and interconnection availability of the District’s subtransmission system.  The District should have sufficient data available in the spring of 2015 to make a decision as to whether to proceed or discontinue support of the project.  Bluestem is performing the evaluation of this potential wind project at no cost to the District and without any obligations or commitments by the District should the wind project not be approved.

 Norris Facility Plans

 The District has recognized the need for a different operations facility in Lancaster County for many years and for a number of reasons.  Ultimately, plans for the Lincoln South Beltway project have compelled the District to take action regarding the relocation of the Lancaster County operations facility to a new site.  Construction of the Lincoln South Beltway project, as planned, will provide a significant challenge for our trucks and equipment to access our existing operations facility. 

 The District is currently working on plans to relocate and consolidate the two existing Area II operations facilities by constructing a new operations facility in Lancaster County.  The District has exchanged the existing Lancaster County operations facility for undeveloped land.  The new operations facility will be constructed near the Centerville corner, which is located two miles west of the intersection of Highway 33 and Highway 77, south of Lincoln.  The Centerville location will allow the District to consolidate the Saline County and Lancaster County operations centers into one operation facility thus, saving the expenses involved with operating two independent facilities.  This new facility will be constructed using modern construction and insulating practices and will provide energy savings and operating efficiencies well into the future.

 The main office in Beatrice will receive some much needed maintenance and improvements.  Customer improvements will include a new drive-up drop box and a self-service kiosk which will be located on the east side of the building.  The customer improvements will allow for safe, secure and efficient payment transactions while still providing quality customer service.  In addition, handicap accessibility issues within the building will be addressed along with the performance of routine maintenance.

 Looking back over the years, the District has been very frugal in spending dollars on District buildings and improvements.  The District intends to pay for these improvements with existing cash reserves and will be able to avoid the need to borrow funds.

Norris Public Power District ©2014