“We actually took a deep look at the MUD soil,” Eckert said. “We actually started a floodplain study because it was the ideal area closer to the river. “
Eckert said Saunders County was chosen for several reasons. The area is located near major electricity users such as the Omaha metropolitan area. The location of the OPPD substation in southern Yutan was also one of the reasons this area was chosen.
“So in this case we’re looking at the market, we’re looking at the market to try to find where we can connect a new solar plant to the grid where we don’t have to build a whole bunch of new facilities or add upgrades. level to the system, ”he added.
Community Energy began contacting landowners in the area in 2019 to discuss the project.
“We had conversations with various people and started discussing the concept and what it might look like and how we could potentially bring a project like this to fruition,” Eckert said.
The OPPD asked Community Energy to buy the energy. Michaela Valentin, government and community relations manager at OPPD, said the utility has a strategic initiative called Power with Purpose that integrates renewable energy, including solar power.
“Our mission is to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly energy services to our owner customers, and as part of that mission, we are constantly evaluating what our energy mix looks like,” she said.