OPPD Considers Another Rate Increase

OPPD Considers Another Rate Increase

By Carrie Murphy. CREATED Nov 13, 2012

Omaha, NE - OPPD is proposing an electric rate increase next year, largely due to the costly job of getting the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant running again.  The OPPD Board of Directors will discuss the rate hike Thursday and is expected to vote on the increase in December.

In a message posted on it's website Tuesday, OPPD says  "The bottom line is that the utility has a $60 million deficit for 2013, despite all efforts to control costs."  The average customer would pay an additional $7.30 a month, starting in January.  In January 2012, rates increased 5.9%, OPPD cited flood clean-up as a major reason for that increase.

The Fort Calhoun plant went off-line in spring 2011 for scheduled maintenance.  When the Missouri River flooded, the plant flooded and has remained closed ever since.  OPPD recently hired Exelon Generation to manage Fort Calhoun and says the cost of that contract and expenses to restart the plant play a "significant role" in the proposed increase.  Other factors include capital investments and less revenue from selling electricity to other utilities.

OPPD has also delayed plans to re-heat the plant, one of the first steps before it can return to operation.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission must give the final go-ahead before Fort Calhoun can return to operation.