CNPPID formally agrees to merger study with DPPD
(HOLDREGE, Neb.) – The Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District’s board of directors approved a motion at Monday’s monthly meeting to enter into a joint study with the Dawson County Public Power District to evaluate the potential benefits consolidating the two entities.
The study will be conducted by Power System Engineering, Inc., (PSE) of Madison, Wisc., and will help determine whether such consolidation is an economic and strategic fit that benefits both entities, as well as their customers and other stakeholders.
The study will take place over several phases, starting with a feasibility and legal assessment that, if favorable, would lead to additional and more detailed analysis, including details related to operations, consolidation and transition plans.
David Bargen, a partner with the Rembolt Ludtke law firm in Lincoln, previously conducted an analysis of public power statutes for Central. He concluded that Nebraska statutes contemplate such consolidations and provide a process for such matters.
“Statutes give the Nebraska Power Review Board the authority and jurisdiction to review such matters and there are no statutory impediments to exploring such an option,” Bargen said. He added that the PRB’s statutory declaration of policy encourages such mergers if such an arrangement is beneficial to rate-payers and results in more efficient operations.
Central and Dawson announced last month that discussions about a potential consolidation were underway. Dawson Public Power District’s board of directors approved the agreement with PSE last week. The two districts will equally share the costs of the PSE study.
The study budget, if the project extends through the full work plan, is $169,954. The study is expected to take about six months to complete.
Also at Monday’s board meeting:
The board approved a one-percent increase in irrigation rates for the 2021 irrigation season, bringing the Incremental Pricing Program fee for nine inches/acre to $34.96.