Official Nebraska Government Website
 
Nebraska Power Review Board
 

  Home   About The Board Board Members and Staff Complaints Deregulation Activities

Board Meeting Agenda Board Meeting Minutes Statutes Rules and Regulations Links   State of Nebraska

Service Area Maps Conditions Certain Report

 

NEBRASKA POWER REVIEW BOARD ORIENTATION MANUAL

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1: BOARD ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Chapter 2: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Chapter 3: THE ELECTRIC INDUSTRY IN NEBRASKA
Chapter 4: HOW THE BOARD OPERATES
Chapter 5: PRB PLANNING AND REPORTS
Chapter 6: PRB POLICIES
GLOSSARY

 

CHAPTER 5
PRB PLANNING AND REPORTS

 

INTRODUCTION

Although the Board was initially designed to regulate the structural aspects of the electric industry and provide a non-judicial forum where Nebraska’s consumer-owned utilities can take their disputes, national events since then brought new dimensions to the Board’s responsibilities.

The Board is required to submit a Biennial Report, providing details of the Board’s activities during each two-year period.  The report is submitted to the Governor, the State Energy Office, and the Clerk of the Legislature.  The Board also must file an annual load and capability report, showing statewide utility forecasts and generating resources available to supply the State’s power needs for the next 20 years.

In 1981, the Nebraska legislature gave the Board an important role in coordinating planning for the state’s overall electrical energy needs.  The Board was given the responsibility for producing a Coordinated Long-Range Power Supply Plan.  The power supply plan is useful because it requires an examination of Nebraska’s power supply needs at the statewide level, instead of each power supplier examining these needs based only on its own customers’ needs.  In 1981 the Board was also given the responsibility to prepare a Research and Conservation Report, which examines programs created by Nebraska’s power suppliers concerning such topics as conservation measures, research and development, renewable resources, and load management.  In 2000, the Legislature enacted legislation requiring the Board to submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee examining specific conditions in the electric industry in Nebraska and the surrounding region that would indicate if retail competition would benefit Nebraska’s citizens.  In 2010, the Legislature amended the statute leaving it up to the Board’s discretion when and if the conditions certain report should be prepared, instead of an annual requirement.  See LB 797, section 1 (2010).

When the Legislature added the duty to prepare a Power Supply Plan, Research and Conservation Report, and Annual Load and Capability Report, it added a provision allowing the Board to designate a representative organization that would be responsible for preparation of these reports.  If the Board believes the representative organization is unwilling or unable to prepare the reports, the Board has the authority to levy a special assessment on Nebraska’s power suppliers to pay for the costs of preparing the reports by using Board staff and consultants.  The Board has historically designated the Nebraska Power Association as the representative organization responsible for preparation of the Long-Range Power Supply Plan, Research and Conservation Report, and the Annual Load and Capability Report.  The statute setting out the provisions regarding the representative organization is Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1024.  The statute states:

Section 70-1024.  Power supply plan; board; powers and duties; special assessment.
The board shall, prior to October 1, 1981, designate the representative organization responsible for the preparation and filing of those reports required pursuant to sections 70-1025 and 70-1026. The board may utilize a preexisting representative group from the industry if such group is willing to perform the task in the prescribed time and manner. The board shall prepare and publish the long-range power supply plan itself; if the board determines that no representative group is willing to complete such a study or that the product of any group so assembled has substantial deficiencies or cannot be completed by the prescribed date. The board shall have the power and duty to levy a special assessment in the manner described in section 70-1020 to defray the costs of such power supply plans, if the board must produce such power supply plan by itself or with consultants.

 

BIENNIAL REPORT

Every two years, the Board must submit a report providing details of its activities to the Governor, with copies to be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature and the State Energy Office.  The report is required to include information on nine topics set out in Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1003(4).  The Board also makes a copy of the report available to each member of the Legislature, each public power district and larger municipal power suppliers and cooperatives.  The pertinent part of the statute requiring the biennial report states as follows:

Section 70-1003.  Nebraska Power Review Board; establishment; composition; appointment; term; vacancy; qualifications; compensation; jurisdiction; officers; executive director; staff; report.
 *  *  *
(4) The board shall publish and submit a biennial report with annual data to the Governor, with copies to be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature and with the State Energy Office. The State Energy Office shall consider the information in the Nebraska Power Review Board's report when the State Energy Office prepares its own reports pursuant to sections 81-1606 and 81-1607. The report of the board shall include:
            (a) The assessments for the fiscal year imposed pursuant to section 70-1020;
            (b) The gross income totals for each category of the industry and the industry total;
            (c) The number of suppliers against whom the assessment is levied, by category and in total;
            (d) The projected dollar costs of generation, transmission, and microwave applications, approved and denied;
            (e) The actual dollar costs of approved applications upon completion, and a summary of an informational hearing concerning any significant divergence between the projected and actual costs;
            (f) A description of Nebraska's current electric system and information onadditions to and retirements from the system during the fiscal year, including microwave facilities;
            (g) A statistical summary of board activities and an expenditure summary;
            (h) A roster of power suppliers in Nebraska and the assessment each paid; and
            (i) Appropriately detailed historical and projected electric supply and demandstatistics, including information on the total generating capacity owned byNebraska suppliers and the total peak load demand of the previous year, along with an indication of how the industry will respond to the projected situation.

 

LONG-RANGE COORDINATED POWER SUPPLY PLAN

The Board is authorized to request the representative organization to prepare a Power Supply Plan no more often than biennially.  The most recent Long-Range Coordinated Power Supply Plan was completed by the Nebraska Power Association in 2003, although at its March 18, 2011 meeting the Board requested the NPA to prepare a new report.  The report examines three main issues: 1) identify all generation facilities over 25 megawatts, 2) identify all existing or proposed transmission lines 230 kV or larger, and 3) identify all planned generation and transmission facilities needed to serve the estimated power supply demands for the next twenty years.  The controlling statute is Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1025, which states:

70-1025.  Power supply plan; contents; filing; annual report.

(1)  The representative organization shall file with the board a coordinated long-range power supply plan containing the following information:

(a) The identification of all electric generation plants operating or authorized for construction within the state that have a rated capacity of at least twenty-five thousand kilowatts;

            (b) The identification of all transmission lines located or authorized for construction within the state that have a rated capacity of at least two hundred thirty kilovolts; and

            (c)  The identification of all additional planned electric generation and transmission requirements needed to serve estimated power supply demands within the state for a period of twenty years.

(2)  Beginning in 1986, the representative organization shall file with the board the coordinated long-range power supply plan specified in subsection (1) of this section, and the board shall determine the date on which such report is to be filed, except that such report shall not be required to be filed more often than biennially.

(3) An annual load and capability report shall be filed with the board by the representative organization.  The report shall include statewide utility load forecasts and the resources available to satisfy the loads over a twenty-year period.  The annual load and capability report shall be filed on dates specified by the board.

 

ANNUAL LOAD AND CAPABILITY REPORT

The Board’s representative organization is required to submit an annual load and capability report to the Board.  The most recent version of the report is included in the Board’s Biennial Report.  The report examines statewide utility load forecasts and the generating resources available to satisfy those needs for the next twenty-year period.  Each Nebraska power supplier, certainly those with generation resources, conducts its own study to determine the load growth in its service territory, and whether its generation resources are adequate to meet those projected needs.  The Annual Load and Capability Report requires those power suppliers to evaluate this information on a statewide basis.  The pertinent part of the statute involved states the following:

Section 70-1025. Power supply plan; contents; filing; annual report.
             *  *  *
(3) An annual load and capability report shall be filed with the board by the representative organization. The report shall include statewide utility load forecasts and the resources available to satisfy the loads over a twenty-year period. The annual load and capability report shall be filed on dates specified by the board.

 

RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION REPORT

The Research and Conservation Report is intended to examine issues related to energy conservation, load management, and use of renewable energy resources.  As with the Long-Range Coordinated Power Supply Plan, the Board can ask the representative organization to prepare this report no more than biennially. The Research and Conservation Report has at least in recent history been prepared in conjunction with the Long-Range Coordinated Power Supply Plan.  Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1026 sets out the information that must be covered in the report:

70-1026.  Power supply plan; research and conservation report; contents. 
The representative organization shall file, at the request of the board but no more often than biennially, a research can conservation report, which shall include the following information relative to programs enacted by the representative organization and its members:

  1. Research and development;
  2. Energy conservation;
  3. Load management;
  4. Renewable energy sources; and
  5. Cogeneration.

 

CONDITIONS CERTAIN REPORT

In 2000, the Nebraska Legislature passed a bill requiring the Board to submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee examining the conditions in the electric industry that indicate if retail competition would benefit Nebraska’s citizens.  This is referred to as the “Conditions Certain” report, or occasionally it is still referred to as the “LB 901” report.  LB 901 is a reference to the legislative bill number in 2000 that created the requirement and parameters of the Conditions Certain report.  In 2010, the Legislature amended the statute so that whether the report should be prepared and whether a hearing should be held is now left up to the Board’s discretion, instead of a mandatory annual requirement.  See LB 797, section 1 (2010).

Under the Conditions Certain process, the Board may hold a public meeting to receive input on whether conditions in the electric industry indicate that retail competition would benefit Nebraska’s ratepayers.  A synopsis of the input received is then included in the Conditions Certain report.  To date there has been very little or no public interest in these public hearings.  This was one factor in the decision to remove the annual requirement.

If the Board determines the report should be prepared, the Board is authorized to establish working groups of interested parties.  When the Board prepared the report on an annual basis, it created five groups of technical experts drawn from Nebraska’s electric industry.  These are known as “Technical Groups” 1 through 5.  There is a technical group for each of the five conditions that are to be examined under Neb. Rev. Stat. section 70-1003(6).  The Board also established a “Review Group.”  The Review Group is comprised of many interested parties, including government agencies, environmental groups, representatives of customer groups such as retail, commercial, and agricultural, electric industry officials, utility personnel, consumer groups, etc.  The purpose of the Review Group is to review the draft of the report and provide input and suggestions from a non-technical perspective.

When the report was prepared annually, a consultant was retained to coordinate the preparation of the report.  The consultant did not draft most of the report, but rather worked with the technical group members to prepare the report, and incorporated the input from the Review Group.  The report was issued in October.  The Board chose this timeframe because it allowed the report to be given to the Governor and state senators early enough that it could be reviewed and any resulting legislation could be drafted prior to the next legislative session in January.  The statute setting out the requirements for the report, including the five technical groups, is as follows:

Section 70-1003.  Nebraska Power Review Board; establishment; composition; appointment; term; vacancy; qualifications; compensation; jurisdiction; officers; executive director; staff; report.

             *  *  * 
(5) The board may in its discretion hold public hearings concerning the conditions that may indicate that retail competition in the electric industry would benefit Nebraska's citizens and what steps, if any, should be taken to prepare for retail competition in Nebraska's electricity market.  In determining whether to hold such hearings, the board shall consider the sufficiency of public interest.

(6) The board may, at any time deemed beneficial by the board, submit a report to the Governor with copies to be filed with the Clerk of the Legislature and the Natural Resources Committee of the Legislature. The report may include:

            (a) Whether or not a viable regional transmission organization and adequate transmission exist in Nebraska or in a region which includes Nebraska;

            (b) Whether or not a viable wholesale electricity market exists in a region which includes Nebraska;

            (c) To what extent retail rates have been unbundled in Nebraska;

            (d) A comparison of Nebraska's wholesale electricity prices to the prices in the region; and

            (e) Any other information the board believes to be beneficial to the Governor, the Legislature, and Nebraska's citizens when considering whether retail electric competition would be beneficial, such as, but not limited to, an update on deregulation activities in other states and an update on federal deregulation legislation.

(7) The board is authorized to establish working groups of interested parties to assist the board in carrying out the duties set forth in subsections (5) and (6) of this section.

 

ANNUAL NET METERING REPORT

In 2009 the Legislature enacted LB 436, which requires each retail distribution utility to produce an annual net metering report.  The report provides specific information about net metering facilities in the State of Nebraska.  Each of the utilities provides a copy of its report to the Board, which acts as a clearinghouse for the aggregate information.  The Board sends a postcard to each retail distribution utility in late January or early February requesting the needed information.  The Board’s staff then collects this data and provides it to the Natural Resources Committee.  The statute involved states the following:

70-2005  Annual net metering report; contents.
Beginning March 1, 2010, and on each March 1 thereafter, each local distribution utility shall produce and publish on its web site, or if no web site is available, in its main office, and provide to the Nebraska Power Review Board an annual net metering report that shall include the following  information:

  1. The total number of qualified facilities;
  2. The total estimated rated generating capacity of qualified facilities;
  3. The total estimated net kilowatt-hours received from customer-generators; and 
  4. The total estimated amount of energy produced by the customer-generators.

 

 

Nebraska Power Review Board
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94713
Lincoln, NE 68509-4713
PH: (402) 471-2301
Fax: (402) 471-3715

State of Nebraska   |   Privacy and Security Policy