May Board Meeting Summary

May 6 2024

(HOLDREGE, Neb.) – The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District board of directors approved a new contract for power generated at the Jeffrey Hydroplant south of Brady, Neb., at their monthly board meeting on Monday.

The approved agreement is with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) and will run from July 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024. MEAN is one of four organizations that make up the Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP) energy coalition. MEAN is a not-for-profit organization that provides wholesale electricity supply and services to 69 participating communities in four states. 

This new agreement is similar to the 10-year purchase agreement that Central signed with MEAN for power generated at the Johnson No. 1 and Johnson No. 2 hydroplants. Starting back on Jan. 1, 2024, through Dec. 31, 2033, all power and capacity generated at the J1 and J2 plants is delivered to MEAN for their customers. This short-term Jeffrey agreement includes a provision for The Energy Authority (TEA) to market the capacity provided by the facility. 

Since January 1, the 20 megawatts (MW) of power generated by the Jeffrey hyrdoplant has been sold in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) market. This new 6-month agreement provides for a more stable contract while the board continues to actively investigate potential ways to improve the realized value of the energy produced at the Jeffrey Hydroplant while providing that energy to the local area.

Also at Monday’s Meeting:

  • The directors approved the purchase of new equipment to work on the supply canal. Approved was a mobile air compressor at the cost of $28,540 and a hydraulic excavator thumb for $18,300.
  • The board approved the construction of a new chemical storage building in Holdrege. The proposed facility would provide a location to store and dispense all chemicals for both the Bertrand and Holdrege locations and will provide a safer working environment for district staff and afford additional room for maintenance at the existing facilities.
  • Irrigation and Water Services manager Scott Dicke provided an update on the Elwood Dam Seepage Mitigation Project. Central installed “No Parking” signs along the entrance road just before the parking lot to address safety concerns. He noted that a substantial portion of the parking lot is now available for use, which is approximately 250 feet north from where the no parking signs were installed.
  • It was voted on by the board to update the District Strategic Plan and revise the District Mission Statement.  The board looks forward to the future, “to sustainably serve the region by utilizing our natural resources for irrigation, energy and recreation while enhancing our quality of life and environment.”
  • Civil Engineer Tyler Thulin reported that Lake McConaughy’s elevation was at 3242.1 feet on Monday (64.9% capacity).  Inflows are around 975 cubic feet per second (cfs) and outflows are about 300 cfs. He added that flows from the South Platte River are flowing to help offset releases. 
  • Thulin also reported the hydrocycling period concluded at the end of April so Johnson Lake water elevation should experience less fluctuation.