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OPPD EV Pilot Program Will Educate Customers, Measure System Impact

June 1, 2018
The program will connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs

Omaha Public Power District has been studying electric vehicles (EVs) to better understand how it may integrate into OPPD’s system as adoption increases. In recent years, the utility has incorporated nearly 50 EVs and hybrids into its vehicle fleet, along with several EV chargers, and continuously evaluates its performance on a number of levels.

During a committee meeting for the OPPD Board of Directors, the Integrated Energy Marketplace team presented its latest EV research, including plans to announce a pilot next month. The pilot, as part of the district’s EV Strategy and Process Initiative, will include EV education for customers. It will also connect customers to financial incentives available for the purchase of certain EVs, as well as certain EV chargers, among other areas.

First, OPPD and the Nebraska Community Energy Alliance (NCEA) will co-fund and distribute $500 grants to customers who purchase Charge Point EV chargers for their home via OPPD. A website link for purchases will be available when the pilot gets underway.

In addition, OPPD will work to educate customers on financial incentives available when they purchase a new EV. These are expected to include:

  • $3,000 rebate at participating Nissan dealerships towards the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf
  • $4,000 grant from NCEA after the purchase of a new EV (only available in Douglas County)
  • Up to $7,500 federal tax credit (depending on the manufacturer)

“The initiative team will also evaluate adding more EVs to OPPD’s fleet, when it makes sense to do so,” said Mike Donahue, manager of Transportation and Construction Equipment for OPPD.

OPPD has already incorporated some electrified vehicles into its own fleet. The utility currently has:

  • 2 all electric Nissan Leaf EVs
  • 4 plug-in hybrids (2 Chevrolet Volts, Ford Fusion Energi, and Ford C-Max Energi)
  • 39 standard hybrids (Ford, Toyota and Honda)
  • 3 bucket trucks equipped with a battery-powered boom
  • 4 EV chargers

Throughout the pilot and beyond, OPPD will be tracking and monitoring impacts to its distribution system for use in grid planning. It will also develop a plan for managing those impacts.

Additionally, the district plans to install a mid-range (Level 2) charger for public use outside of its Energy Plaza headquarters, 444 south 16 St., Omaha.

For more information, see OPPD's The Wire.

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