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Norris PPD
606 Irving Street
Beatrice, NE 68310

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Energy Innovation

Bruce Vitosh--General Manager and CEO

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In April 2015, a significant announcement was made regarding an innovative energy opportunity that will have a positive impact on the economy in southeastern Nebraska and result in lower carbon emissions from Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Sheldon Station located near Hallam.  Monolith Materials plans to begin construction of a carbon black manufacturing facility adjacent to Sheldon Station in 2016 with an expected completion date of 2019.

 Monolith will use a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly process to manufacture carbon black, which is incorporated into many products commonly used by consumers.  Carbon black is included in tires, rubber and plastics, printing inks and batteries.  Monolith’s patented process is environmentally friendly as it uses natural gas as a feedstock, instead of fuel oil or coal-tar, which is the established process.  Monolith will consume a significant amount of electricity to power an electric arc reactor that disassociates the natural gas into its basic elements of carbon and hydrogen.  The carbon that is extracted from this process is made into carbon black.

 The hydrogen co-product and waste heat created in manufacturing carbon black will be used as a clean fuel source in a boiler that replaces one of the two existing coal-fired boilers at Sheldon Station.  The use of hydrogen, to generate 125 megawatts of electricity, will enable NPPD to reduce its carbon emissions from all of its generation resources by 10 percent.  NPPD’s generation resources are projected to be 46 percent carbon emission free when combined with generation that utilizes nuclear, wind and water resources.        

 Norris’ chartered service territory includes the area surrounding Sheldon Station and the area where Monolith plans to construct its manufacturing facility.  Therefore, Norris has the obligation and is responsible for providing electric service to Monolith.  Monolith’s power requirements are extremely large and will be a significant addition to the existing load of Norris.

 Although the impact on existing customers’ rates will be very minimal, the addition of Monolith will contribute to Norris’ financial strength.  The direct financial benefit for existing Norris customers is that certain overhead costs will now be spread over more energy sales.  The greater financial benefits for existing Norris customers are the jobs that will be created and the capital investment that will be made in southeastern Nebraska.

 Norris customers will also benefit from the positive environmental impact of this innovative energy opportunity.  Norris is pleased that NPPD’s generation resources will become more environmentally friendly with the conversion of a boiler at Sheldon Station to a cleaner fuel source. 

 Norris is extremely excited about the opportunity that has developed among Monolith, NPPD and Norris.  I am proud of the fact that low electricity rates in the state of Nebraska was one of the driving factors that attracted the interest of Monolith to the state of Nebraska.  I have been very fortunate to meet and get to know the Monolith founders, some of their employees and investors.  These individuals are very family-oriented, intelligent and genuine.  I am confident that Monolith will fit in very well in Nebraska knowing the people and the values that they will bring to our great state.  I look forward to cultivating our relationship and wish for tremendous success to Monolith and NPPD.    



Norris Public Power District ©2015