Grande Prairie wind farm

The Grande Prairie wind farm, the largest wind project in Nebraska history. Renewable energy, mostly generated by wind, represented 30 percent of OPPD's retail sales in 2017.

Renewable energy primarily derived from wind whistling across the Nebraska plains accounted for 30 percent of the Omaha Public Power District’s retail energy sales in 2017.

That marks a significant milestone for the traditionally coal-heavy utility, especially considering that renewables accounted for just 13 percent of OPPD’s retail sales in 2016.

“(30 percent) is what our original estimate was for 2018,” OPPD President and Chief Executive Tim Burke said Thursday at the utility’s board meeting.

The utility has a goal of hiking that portion to 50 percent by 2020.

Also on Thursday, the OPPD board gave unanimous approval for one of two executive pay raises on the agenda and tabled another until next month’s meeting.

OPPD Vice President of Business Technology and Building Services Kate Brown got a 5 percent salary increase, bringing her new salary to $313,635.

The board did not have time to get through a performance review for Vice President of Energy Delivery Mo Doghman during committee meetings earlier this week and will act on a proposed salary increase, which isn’t disclosed to the public until it’s discussed at the board level, at its Feb. 15 meeting.

In other business, the board elected new officers for 2018. Mike Cavanaugh will be board chair and Anne McGuire will serve as vice chair.

The board also approved a resolution recognizing former director Rich Hurley, who died in September after serving about two years of his six-year term.

cole.epley@owh.com, 402-444-1534

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