Columbus, Neb. Frigid temperatures helped drive up Nebraskans' energy use yesterday, causing the Nebraska Public Power District to set a likely new all time-winter peak for generating electricity .
Between the hour of 7 and 8 a.m., as people readied a Monday morning back to school or work, NPPD generated an estimated 2,256 megawatts of electricity to meet customers' demand. The utility's previous all-time winter peak was 2,219 megawatts set in December of 2009.
"NPPD was able to meet this highest level of demand, in part, due to our steady and stable supply of power generated by our nuclear and coal-fired facilities," said President & CEO Pat Pope. "But the wind also worked in our favor yesterday, contributing more than 216 megawatts for NPPD during the time of peak demand."
NPPD also has hydropower resources and a natural gas, combined-cycle plant, however, due to widespread extreme cold and the high demand for natural gas for home heating and other purposes, NPPD did not operate its natural gas generation because the fuel costs were up more than 300 percent over typical prices.