Doubling the Capacity...
Omaha Public Power District Expands Renewable Energy Plant

One of Nebraskaís largest sources of renewable energy grew in July 2006. In late July, Omaha Public Power District dedicated an expansion of its Elk City Generating Station, next to the Douglas County landfill.

The Elk City station is powered by gas generated from the landfill. Since the station opened in April 2002 through May 2006, it has produced nearly 114 million kilowatt-hours, enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes. From a renewable energy perspective, the output from the landfill plant has only been exceeded by the stateís two giant wind turbine farms near Kimball and Ainsworth.

The expansion will mean eight engines capable of producing electricity instead of the six currently operating. Once all generators are operating at full capacity the plant will generate 6.4 megawatts of power. That would double the current capacity, producing enough energy to power the needs of 4,000 average homes.

OPPD Isnít Alone in Using Biomass
In 2005, more than 42 million kilowatthours of electricity were generated by biomass energy in Nebraska, a decrease of five percent from 2004. Biomass generation has been tracked in the state since 1995.

The four current biomass generation plants in Nebraska:

  • The Theresa Street Waste Water Treatment Plant, operated by the City of Lincoln, started generating electricity from biomass in November, 1995. All of the electricity is used by the plant in its operations.
  • Elk City Station, operated by the Omaha Public Power District, is the first power plant in Nebraska to collect and burn methane to produce electricity.
  • The City of Omaha operates the Missouri River Treatment Plant and the Papillion Creek Treatment Plant. The plants started generating electricity from methane in 1985. The Missouri River Treatment Plant added a 1 MW generator in 2001 in addition to the existing 1 MW generator installed in 1985. At this time, only data for the Missouri River Treatment Plant for 2003 to the present is available.
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