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Winter 2019 Generator

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GENERA OR

a publication of Loup Power District WINTER 2019

SOLAR

in SCHUYLER

— page 8


BOARD

OF DIRECTORS

Larry Zach

Chairman

Chris Langemeier

First Vice Chairman

Ross Knott

Second Vice Chairman

Alan Drozd

Secretary

Dick Tooley

Treasurer

Rich Aerni

Robert Cerv

Jim Donoghue

Mike Fleming

Steve Heesacker

EXECUTIVE STAFF

Neal Suess

President/ CEO

Walt Williams

Vice President,

Administrative Services/CFO

David Bell

Vice President,

Development/Marketing

Ron Ziola

Vice President, Engineering

Dan Hellbusch

Vice President, Operations

The

The

difference

difference

a

a

bulb

bulb

makes

makes

Just how much difference does choosing a

Just how much difference does choosing a

different kind of light bulb make on how much

different kind of light bulb make on how much

you spend on energy? Here’s a quick

you spend on energy? Here’s a quick

comparison of key stats about incandescent,

comparison of key stats about incandescent,

compact fluorescent (CFL), and light-emitting

compact fluorescent (CFL), and light-emitting

diode (LED) bulbs.

diode (LED) bulbs.

The difference a bulb makes

Just how much difference does choosing a different kind of

light bulb make on how much you spend on energy? Here’s a

quick comparison of key stats about incandescent, compact

fluorescent (CFL), and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

INCANDESCENT CFL LED

Brightness 800 lumens 840 lumens 840 lumens

Energy used 60 watts 13 watts 9 watts

Cost per bulb* $1.49 $2.49 $1.37

Yearly energy $7.55 $1.64 $1.13

cost**

Estimated 1.8 years 11 years 13 years

lifespan (2,000 hours) (12,000 hours) (15,000 hours)

Total cost $83.78 $18.89 $12.67

over 10 years

*Prices quoted all come from the same large retailer

for comparably sized and style bulbs

**Assumes use of 3 hrs/day at average public power

bundled rate of 11.5 cents/kwh

*Prices quoted all come from the same large retailer for comparably sized and style bulbs

**Assumes use of 3 hrs/day at average public power bundled rate of 11.5 cents/kwh

The Loup Generator is

published quarterly as a

service for Loup employees,

families, friends and

associates.

For feedback, story ideas

and submissions, contact:

Stacy Wemhoff

Communications Coordinator

402-562-5711

swemhoff@loup.com

Considering the average

home uses about 40

bulbs, the difference for

one home over 10 years is

more than $2,800 in cost

savings, and more than

22,000 kilowatt hours in

energy savings.

Considering the average

Considering the average

home uses about 40

home uses about 40

bulbs, the difference for

bulbs, the difference for

one home over 10 years is

one home over 10 years is

more than $2,800 in cost

more than $2,800 in cost

savings, and more than

22,000

savings,

kilowatt

and more

hours

than

in

22,000

energy

kilowatt

savings.

hours in

energy savings.

2 GENERATOR


PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Board of Directors changes for 2019

As a result of the election in November,

the District will see a change in the Board

of Directors, although not as dramatic of a

change as we saw in the 2016 elections.

There was also change in the local,

statewide and national elections, although,

similar to the elections for the District’s

Board of Directors, not as much change as

was seen during the 2016 election cycle.

This change is what makes life

fascinating and what creates challenges

and opportunities for all who work in an

environment that is driven by such change.

First of all, two existing directors

— Director Mike Fleming of Columbus

and Director Robert Cerv of Clarkson —

both ran unopposed and were elected to

continue to serve on the Board of Directors.

Director Cerv has been on the Board

since early 2005 and Director Fleming

has served on the Board since 2013. We

are excited to have both Director Cerv and

Director Fleming return to the Board of

Directors.

Loup Power District will have one new

Board member in 2019. I would like to

welcome Mr. Steve Heesacker of Humphrey

to the Board as the newest Director to serve

the District.

Mr. Heesacker and his wife Monica

have two sons, Bryce and Holden, and live

outside of Humphrey. Mr. Heesacker owns

Heesacker Realty and Auction Company in

Humphrey. Mr. Heesacker is well known

throughout the Humphrey area and we look

forward to having him serve on the Board.

Loup Power District will be saying

goodbye to its current longest-tenured

Board member — Director Francis Sand of

Humphrey. Director Sand decided not to

rerun for the Board of Directors position in

2018.

Director Sand served on the Board from

1977 through 1982 and again from 1984

through the present.

Director Sand served as the Board

Chairman on five separate occasions in

1981, 1992, 1999, 2007 and 2014.

Director Sand was always a great

supporter of management and the

employees of the District and was very

mindful of the effect that decisions of

the Board had on his constituency from

Humphrey.

When I was thinking about applying

for the position of President/CEO of Loup

Power District, Director Sand encouraged

me to throw my name in the hat. I

have also been grateful to him for that

encouragement.

In addition, Director Sand and his

wife, Lucille, loved to travel to the

American Public Power Association annual

conference, located in different cities each

year, and he was very knowledgeable about

the ongoing changes in the electric utility

industry.

Director Sand has always been a

tremendous supporter of the District and of

public power.

We wish Francis and Lucille the very

best and look forward to seeing them in the

community as part of our everyday lives.

We here at the District look forward

to these changes and working with our

newest Board member. Please take time to

congratulate Director Heesacker on his new

position on the Board and to thank Director

Sand for his dedication and service to the

Board.

by NEAL SUESS

President/CEO

FRANCIS SAND

MIKE FLEMING

ROBERT CERV

STEVE HEESACKER

Retired

Re-elected

Re-elected

Newly Elected

1977–1982, 1984–2018

Through 2025

Through 2025

Through 2025

WINTER 2019 3


are you

Check out these energy-saving incentives!

NEW!

Smart Thermostat Program

According to a Nebraska energy burden study,

the average Nebraska household spends

more than $2,400 on the energy needed to

run their home. What if you could reduce your

heating and cooling needs by up to ten percent

while helping to automate your home?

If you have a home Wi-Fi connection and a central

air-conditioning or heat pump system, you may

qualify for an EnergyWise SM incentive of up to $100 for

installing a qualifying smart thermostat.

Smart thermostat technology is most beneficial for households that have

extended periods during the day when no one is home or turn their

thermostat down during bedtime hours. It is also a great option for homes

that have irregular occupancy through the week, month or year.

SYSTEM TYPE

INCENTIVE

Primarily Electric Heat (Professionally Installed) $100

Primarily Electric Heat (Customer Installed) $75

Primarily Fossil-Fuel Heat (Professionally Installed) $50

Primarily Fossil-Fuel Heat (Customer Installed) $25

Attic Insulation

Residential customers who have 6” or less

of attic insulation and have electric heating

systems are eligible for an incentive of 15¢

per square foot if they add at least 6”, or an

additional R-19, of insulation to their attic

space.

The maximum incentive amount is $300

per dwelling.

Variable Frequency

Drives

Commercial and industrial customers can

receive an incentive for installing variable

frequency drives (VFDs) on centrifugal fans

and pumps.

The incentive is $30 per horsepower for

VFDs from 1 to 200 horsepower, operating

a minimum of 2,000 hours annually.

Agricultural Efficiency

Customers can receive reimbursement for

installing electric heating mats in their hog

farrowing operations. Incentives range from

$40 to $80 per mat.

Irrigation Efficiency

Customers can receive

reimbursement for a system

efficiency test of the variable

frequency drive on corner pivot systems,

and for improvements leading to demand

reductions.

Eligible projects include pressure

regulator replacement, pump

refurbishment and more.

4 GENERATOR


High Efficiency Heat Pumps

Option 1: Direct incentive

SYSTEM TYPE CRITERIA INCENTIVE

Air Source Heat Pump

Air Source Heat Pump

15-15.9 SEER, 12.5 EER,

8.5 HSPF

16-17.9 SEER, 12.5 EER,

8.5 HSPF

$300

$600

Air Source Heat Pump 3 or more stages $600

Air Source Heat Pump 18+ SEER, 12.5 EER, 8.5 HSPF $900

Air Source Heat Pump Variable Capacity $900

Water or Ground Source

Heat Pump – 1 or 2 stages

Water or Ground Source

Heat Pump - variable

capacity

Option 2: Low Interest Loan Program

Any EER $1,800

35+ EER, 5.0+ COP in GLHP -

partial load column of AHRI

or Energy Star certificate

$2,500

Through a partnership with the Nebraska Energy Office and approximately 600

financial institutions throughout the state, you can finance your new heat pump

system at a low interest rate.

Customers cannot proceed with the installation until the Nebraska Energy Office

has processed the loan paperwork; this can take as many as 10 business days.

Homes built within the last five years are not eligible for the low interest loan (but

they are eligible for the incentive).

Electric Vehicle Charging

Station Program

Loup customers are eligible to receive

a $200 incentive for the installation of a

ChargePoint 32-amp Wi-Fi enabled station.

Other charging stations may be eligible

for incentives, but must pass pre-approval

criteria.

Cooling System Tune Up

Residential customers are eligible for a

$30 incentive (every 3 years) when they

have their cooling system tuned up by an

HVAC contractor.

Heat Pump Water Heater

SYSTEM TYPE CRITERIA INCENTIVE

Air Source Heat Pump Water Heater EF > 1.9 $300

Water or Ground Source

Heat Pump Water Heater

COP> 2.8 $500

HVAC System

Optimization

Incentives are provided to commercial

(and industrial) customers for improving

the efficiency of their existing heating,

cooling, and ventilating systems.

Prescriptive

and Custom Lighting

LED lighting incentives are provided for

commercial and industrial customers via a

prescriptive program (an incentive based

on a table for predetermined fixture or

lamp replacements) and a custom incentive

program for lighting systems not offered in

the prescriptive program.

Industrial Process Incentive

Incentives are provided to industrial customers for

improving the efficiency of their processes.

Commercial HVAC

Incentives are provided to commercial (and industrial)

customers for installing high-efficiency HVAC equipment

via a prescriptive program where the incentive is calculated

based on the specific efficiency improvement.

Additional program details are available at loup.com

or by calling Rick Cheloha at 402-562-5718.

WINTER 2019 5


Fleming receives Chamber’s 2018 Archway Award

Loup delivers

lease payments

Loup Power District Director Mike Fleming received the 2018 Archway Award from the

Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. The award was presented at the Chamber’s Columbus

Area Business Hall of Fame Banquet in November.

Fleming has owned and operated Mike’s Auto Sales and Towing since 1974. He has grown

the business over 44 years through hard work and innovation including the implementation of

online sales.

The business brings buyers to Columbus from across the United States, expanding Mike’s

Auto Sales’ footprint and creating local revenue.

In addition to sitting on Loup’s Board of Directors, Fleming has served his community as a

City Councilman and and in various roles related to area youth.

The Archway Award is awarded annually to the area’s outstanding businessman by Pinnacle

Bank.

Loup Power District officials

presented lease payment checks

totaling more than $1.1 million to

area communities in November.

The payments represent 10 percent

of the retail revenue generated

by the sale of electric power in

the communities during the third

quarter of 2018.

The payments were:

Columbus — $1,068,859.06

Genoa — $33,416.27

Creston — $5,319.51

Lindsay

— $41,483.20

Newman Grove — $19,974.50

These communities own their

electric distribution systems.

These payments compensate

them for the use of those systems.

Communities use the funds for a

variety of public projects.

LAUNDRY TIP:

Dry towels and

heavier cottons

separately from

lighter-weight

clothing. You’ll

spend less time

running the dryer

for lighter items

which saves energy.

Source: energy.gov

HELPER FUND

Share the warmth this winter

Many of us take a warm house for granted. Others face winter knowing they

can’t afford to heat their homes.

Loup Power District established the Heat Helper Fund with the goal of helping

people stay warm.

Loup customers can donate to the fund by adding a few dollars to their Loup

payment or by writing a check directly to Heat Helper Fund and sending it to

PO Box 164, Columbus, NE 68602-0164. A donation receptacle is also available

at Loup area offices.

Donations are tax deductible and are handled locally through Columbus

Emergency Relief, Inc. There are no administrative fees so 100 percent

of donations are used to pay electric heating bills for Loup Power District

customers in Boone, Colfax, Nance and Platte Counties and part of Madison

County.

Columbus Emergency Relief, Inc., is located at 3020 18th Street in Columbus

and provides emergency help with utility, housing, medical and transportation

needs. Call 402-564-4184 for more information.

6 GENERATOR


SWITCH TO LED LIGHTING

LED bulbs use 90% less electricity than

incandescents and up to 60% less

energy than fluorescents for the same

amount of light. Many fluorescent

lights will not even operate below 10°F.

In contrast, LEDs slightly increase their

light output the colder it gets.

tips for an energy-efficient

GARAGE

A typical two-car garage measures 480 square feet,

or about 20 percent of the size of the average U.S.

home. Yet, it is often the least insulated and sealed,

uses the least efficient lighting, and is home to

older appliances.

Consider a few of the following projects to keep

your energy use from going through the roof.

INSULATE THE WALLS

Many older homes (and even some newer

ones) were not built with insulation in the walls

of the garage. While most have outside siding,

sheathing and a layer of particle board to keep

elements out, these materials do little to retain

heat. Insulating can be as easy as tacking

fiberglass insulation between exposed joists. If

your garage walls are finished, blow in insulation

through a small hole in the drywall or paneling.

SEAL THE DOOR BETWEEN

THE HOUSE AND GARAGE

If your garage is attached to the house, this door

is often a major source of cold air coming into your

home. If your garage is detached, it may be letting

much of your garage heat escape. Check to ensure

weather-stripping is installed around the entire door

frame, and that it’s intact, pliable and provides a snug

seal. Also, ensure your threshold and door sweep are

sealing the bottom.

INSULATE THE GARAGE DOOR

Even some garages with properly-insulated walls were

constructed with an uninsulated garage door. This negates

much of the benefit from insulated walls. A new, insulated

door will cost several hundreds of dollars or more, but will

provide a clean appearance. A lower-cost solution is to

purchase foam board insulation and install it on the inside

panels of your existing doors. Remember, you must cut the

foam board to a size a little smaller than your garage door’s

panels so it doesn’t smash together with insulation on other

panels as the door rolls up and down.

CAULK BETWEEN THE WALL

AND THE CONCRETE WALL OR FLOOR

Most garages were not built using compressible foam between the

lower framing and concrete floor. Over time, this connection swells,

shrinks and moves, leaving spaces that allow air from the outside to

leak in. Use a foam sealant or a latex/silicone-based caulk to seal this

often overlooked area.

REPLACE OLDER APPLIANCES

If you have an older model refrigerator or freezer in your garage, it may cost more money for you to

operate it over time than it would to invest into a new unit. Although the energy savings are smaller

in the winter, consider how hot your garage becomes in the summer. Some people move their old

televisions to the garage, too. Older televisions can use up to 10 times more energy than newer

models. If you use these older appliances quite a bit, consider purchasing a new ENERGY STAR

appliance. If you are not ready to replace the old one, at least unplug it when not in use to save

electricity.

WINTER 2019 7


SCHUYLER SOLAR

Department of Utilities constructs 500 kW solar farm

Jim McGowen will be the first to tell you that he’s

not a big proponent of renewable energy because of

reliability concerns.

Still, he spearheaded a $750,000

solar farm project for the Schuyler

Department of Utilities that went online

last month.

“Solar started looking more enticing

because they’re doing a better job

building panels and they’re bringing

the cost down,” said McGowen,

Superintendent for the Schuyler

Department of Utilities. “I thought it was

worth looking at mainly because we’ve

had customers come in and ask if they

could put it on their homes.”

McGowen began researching the

viability of a solar farm in Schuyler

about two years ago.

The community’s Board of Public

Works supported the idea and they

decided to move forward, awarding the bid to GenPro

Energy Solutions out of Piedmont, SD.

The 500 kW solar farm was constructed on the

east side of Schuyler. It has about 1,500 solar panels

surrounded by a 300-foot by 500-foot fence.

The solar arrays move with the sun to maximize the

amount of electricity they can generate. The system also

monitors weather and can move the panels to avoid a

direct hit from hail and other hazards.

Board member Tom Healy said the

project made sense economically and

environmentally and it has been exciting

to watch the project develop.

For the next year, Schuyler will use the

solar farm’s generation to run its public

supply wells. Any excess electricity will go

into the general distribution system.

This will give Department of Utilities

time to analyze the operations and

maintenance costs before determining

how to offer the solar energy to customers

via a community solar program.

“I think the right approach is to study

it and know exactly what our costs are

before offering it to customers,” Healy

said.

McGowen is predicting that the farm

will require minimal maintenance.

“This is something that we think will operate itself,”

he said. “We’ll know in a year.”

He is now a believer that renewables definitely have

their place in the energy grid.“Every community needs

to have an attitude that renewable energy is important to

sustain us during peaks,” McGowen said.

The 500 kW solar farm’s generation is about the same

8 GENERATOR


How Community Solar Works

1 A community solar

project generates clean

solar energy.

2 Customers sign up to

purchase and receive energy

from a certain number of panels.

3 Customers participating in community

solar receive a credit based on the amount

of energy produced by the panels.

as the Department’s irrigation load in the summer and

could help Schuyler balance that load.

The Schuyler Department of Utilities has made other

efforts to reduce costs and become more efficient.

It recently replaced metal halide streetlights with longlasting,

energy-efficient LED fixtures and bulbs. They paid

for themselves in three years.

“We had an 80 percent reduction in our operation and

maintenance costs for street lighting,” he said.

Prior to the change, crews would spend almost every

Friday afternoon working on streetlight repairs.

Reducing operations and maintenance costs ensures

that the Department of Utilities can offer the best value to

customers.

“The most important thing we do is what we do for our

customers,” McGowen said.

He said Nebraskans are fortunate to have access to

reliable, low-cost electricity.

That’s been a goal of the city’s Board of Public Works

since the mid-1960s, when Schuyler quit generating its

own electricity via a steam powerhouse and joined the

Nebraska Public Power System.

“We’re fortunate that they partnered with Loup to do

that,” McGowen said. “The Board of Public Works had that

vision.”

Above: Electric Linemen Garrett Korth terminates the

underground tie line to the solar farm distribution system.

Lower left: Schuyler’s solar farm on east 16th Street has

about 1,500 solar panels.

Upper left: The solar panels rotate with the sun to maximize

the amount of energy they can produce.

Every community needs to have

an attitude that renewable

energy is important.

JIM McGOWEN

Superintendent, Dept o Utilities

WINTER 2019 9


RELIABILITY’S

MOST WANTED

Public power utilities work hard to

prevent and reduce outages. To do

so, they must fight five adversaries in

their quest for increased reliability.

But fear not, reliability renegades:

each foe can be countered.

10 GENERATOR


WINTER 2019 11


COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

LEIGH

building in Leigh.

So, the company — based out of

Sleepy Eye, Minn. — tore down an

old building on the corner and built

new. The building was finished this

spring.

Operations Manager Larry Kubicek

explained the business’ operations to

the Community Builders group.

Schwartz Farms is a wean-finish

pork production company with farms

in Platte, Colfax and Stanton counties

in Nebraska.

Schwartz Farms has about 300

employees nationwide. Depending

on the day, the Leigh office

houses anywhere from one to five

employees.

Community Builders met in Leigh

on Oct. 25. The group visited several

businesses in Leigh and ate at Park

Place Restaurant.

Dr. Ken Lemke, Economist with

Nebraska Public Power District,

informed the group about rural

population and demographic trends.

LARSON DAIRY

Bob and Kelsey Larson moved

cows into their new Dairy barn near

Creston in February and haven’t

looked back since.

The couple has 240 cattle that are

now trained to make their way to

robotic milkers up to six times a day.

The cow enters the milking chute

where her udders are sanitized and

she is offered a special feed.

The milker sanitizes the udders

and scans the cow to see where her

udders are before moving up to begin

milking.

The robot can sense the cow’s

movements and will move with her

while milking as she moves around.

After about six minutes, the chute

opens and lets her out.

The milker then cleans itself for

about three minutes.

Each cow is fitted with a

“necklace” that is scanned each

time she enters the chute. Data is

transmitted to a computer where the

Larsons can get detailed information

about the cow.

The data includes the cow’s

temperature and weight, her fat

content, how much milk she’s

produced and how much she’s

chewing throughout the day.

The Larsons sell the milk to Dairy

Farmers of America. A driver stops by

every two days to pick up the milk.

SCHWARTZ FARMS

Schwartz Farms was outgrowing

its office space in an old library

143 VINTAGE

The building at 143 Main Street in

Leigh started off as a theater.

Today, visitors to 143 Vintage

can see where the theater’s seats

were bolted down to the original

flooring.

Samantha Wietfeld’s husband

and brother purchased the building

for office space for their trucking

business.

She knew the first level of the

building had retail potential. The

family, including her sister-in-law,

Liz Hellbusch, tore out the old carpet

and a few walls to get ready to open

their vintage store.

Wietfeld said she enjoys finding

old furniture at auctions. Occasionally

people will ask her if she’d like to go

through an old building that’s about

to be torn down.

“Those are the best picks,” she

said. “Going through an old, dirty

barn and finding some treasures in

there.”

Wietfeld and Hellbusch paint

furniture or distress it to give it an

antique look. They also have vintage

and new home decor items.

143 Vintage has been open since

August 2017 and is open the first

Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.

to 2 p.m. or by appointment.

12 GENERATOR


Far left: Bob Larson explains how the robotic milkers work at

Larson Dairy.

Left: Samantha Wietfeld’s store, 143 Vintage, opened in August

2017. The building was a theater, shoe store and residence

before being remodeled for her vintage store.

Above: Cal Liermann, Nebraska Maintenance Supervisor with

Schwartz Farms, talks about the company’s new building in

Leigh. Schwartz Farms Operations Manager Larry Kubicek

(right) said the business has operations in Platte, Colfax

and Stanton counties.

Community Builders tours towns in Colfax, Boone, Nance and

Platte Counties and a portion of Madison County. Cornhusker

Public Power District, Loup Power District and Central

Community College sponsor the program. Guests are

welcome to attend.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS

NPPD Economist Ken Lemke gave a presentation on

population and the economy while the group ate at The

Park Place.

He said the farm economy is continuing its decline.

Lemke said area bankers have noticed the farming

economy’s problems are hitting younger farmers

especially hard since they don’t have a lot of capital.

While land prices have helped some of those farmers in

the past, the same can’t be guaranteed going forward.

“As crop prices and commodity prices have declined,

it’s had an impact on land prices,” Lemke said.

He also discussed how Nebraska’s population is

changing.

Mapping the data shows a “fish hook” of sorts that

follows Interstate 80 and curves up along Highway 81

toward Norfolk.

Most towns along that fish hook grew since 1970.

Most towns outside that fishhook declined with a few

exceptions.

Lemke said from 1980 to 1990, the only communities

that really grew were those with populations above

10,000. Things improved in the nineties.

“Everything grew except for the very smallest towns,”

he said.

Lemke said 2017 estimates show a pattern similar to

the 1980s.“Our population growth has turned negative in

the smaller communities.”

Lemke said Leigh’s population was 400 in 1970. Today,

it is 412.

“You’ve grown,” he said. “You’re in that minority.”

Lemke also discussed changes in race in ethnicity in

Colfax County and Nebraska as a whole.

Since 2000, Colfax County has gained 151 residents

overall. The county gained 2,182 Hispanic residents and

lost 2,480 white, non-Hispanic residents.

Nebraska has gained 208,846 residents. Of those,

116,492 are Hispanic and 19,880 are white, non-Hispanic.

WINTER 2019 13


employee notes

GARY PEARSON

Headworks Supervisor

Retired!

Gary Pearson of Genoa retired from Loup Power District after more than 35 years of

service.

Pearson joined Loup in 1983 as a Maintenance Man at the Genoa Headworks. He was

promoted to Equipment Operator in 1986, and Dredge Operator in 1990. Pearson was

promoted to his current position of Headworks Supervisor in 1997.

As Headworks Supervisor, Pearson oversaw Loup’s operations at the Genoa Headworks

and coordinated the activities of 12 employees. He was also in charge of ordering supplies

for the Headworks.

Pearson is a graduate of Genoa High School. He also attended Central Community

College–Columbus.

Pearson and his wife, Betty, are the parents of two children: Brooke and Brett. They

have 7 grandchildren.

Promotion

DAN QUINN

Line Foreman

Dan Quinn of Columbus was promoted to Columbus

Service Center Line Foreman.

As Line Foreman, Quinn is charge of the line crew that

is responsible for construction and maintenance of Loup’s

electrical transmission and distribution system in the

Columbus Division which includes the southeastern part

of Platte County and part of Colfax County.

Quinn joined Loup in 1994 as an Apprentice Lineman in

the Albion Division. He was promoted to Lineman in 1995

and transferred to the Columbus Line Crew in 1997. Quinn

was promoted to Journeyman Lineman in 2000 and served

in that position until his promotion.

Quinn is a graduate of Lakeview High School and

earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Utility

Line from Northeast Community College in Norfolk.

He and his wife, Crystal, are the parents of five children

— Zack, Matt, Adam, Sydney, and Sierra.

Promotion

GINNY JOHNSON

Customer Service Rep

Ginny Johnson of Genoa was promoted to

full-time Customer Service Representative.

Johnson joined Loup as a part-time Customer

Service Representative at the Genoa office in

1994 and continued in that position until this

promotion.

Johnson’s responsibilities include greeting

customers; processing payments; setting up,

transferring, or closing service; taking service

calls; and preparing reports at both the Genoa

and Fullerton offices.

Johnson is a graduate of Genoa High School.

She also took accounting and computer courses at

Central Community College–Columbus. Johnson

and her husband, Don, are the parents of four

sons: J.J., Andy, Craig, and Scott. They have six

grandchildren.

14 GENERATOR


JOHN WILLIAMS

Journeyman Lineman/Serviceman

John Williams of Columbus retired from Loup Power District after more than 30 years of

service.

Williams joined Loup in 1986 as a Groundman at the Columbus Retail Operation. He was

promoted to Apprentice Lineman in 1988 and to Lineman in 1990. In 1993, he was promoted

to Journeyman Lineman. The following year, he was promoted to Journeyman Lineman/

Serviceman for the Columbus Retail Operation. He continued in that position until his

retirement.

Williams’ duties included street light maintenance and working with customers during

outages and during the installation of new electric services. He also located underground

utility lines.

Williams is a graduate of Newman Grove High School. He attended Northeast Community

College in Norfolk where he earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Heating and

Air Conditioning.

Williams and his wife, Ella, are the parents of three children: Tara, Clint, and Ashley.

Retired

Promoted

RANDY PROSOSKI

Headworks Supervisor

Randy Prososki of Genoa was promoted to

Headworks Supervisor at Loup Power District.

Prososki joined Loup in 1993 as a Maintenance

Man at the Headworks. He was promoted to Dredge

Operator in 1997 and transferred to Heavy Equipment

Operator in January 2018 before being named

Headworks Supervisor.

As Headworks Supervisor, Prososki oversees

Loup’s operations at the Genoa Headworks. He

also coordinates the activities of the Headworks

employees and purchases supplies.

A native of Belgrade, Nebraska, Prososki is a

graduate of Fullerton High School.

Prososki and his wife, Sena, are the parents of

three children: Eric, Chelsa, and Breana; and five

grandchildren.

5 Years

JUSTIN KOHL

Columbus Plant Operator

Justin Kohl of Columbus joined Loup in 2013.

As a plant operator, Kohl monitors and controls the

three generation units at Columbus and remotely controls

the Monroe Powerhouse.

He also works closely with the Genoa Headworks to

divert maximum Loup River water into the District canal

system for power plant generation.

Kohl’s other duties include coordinating generation

with NPPD’s control center in Doniphan and monitoring

Loup’s 115 kV and 34.5 kV subtransmission system.

A native of Clarks, Nebraska, Kohl is a graduate of

Clarks High School. He and his wife, Amber, are the

parents of three sons, Zandyr, Cruz, and Dash.

WINTER 2019 15


employee notes

DAN McCAWLEY

Electrical/Mechanical Technician

Retired!

Dan McCawley of Rising City retired after more than 26 years of service.

McCawley joined Loup in 1992 as an Assistant Plant Operator at the Columbus

Powerhouse. He was promoted to Plant Operator at the Columbus Powerhouse in 1993. In

2001, he was promoted to Electrical/Mechanical Technician at the Columbus Powerhouse.

As Electrical/Mechanical Technician, McCawley performed maintenance and repair on

the equipment at the Columbus and Monroe Powerhouses.

McCawley grew up on a farm near Bellwood and is a graduate of David City Aquinas

High School. He holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Mechanical

Maintenance from Central Community College-Columbus.

McCawley and his wife, Cathy, are the parents of three children: Emily, Paul, and Will.

Transfer

SCOTT SNYDER

Heavy Equipment Operator

Scott Snyder of Genoa transferred to Heavy

Equipment Operator.

Snyder joined Loup in 1992 as a Maintenance Man

at the Genoa Headworks and was promoted to Dredge

Operator in 1998 before this transfer.

As Heavy Equipment Operator, Snyder’s duties

consist primarily of operation and maintenance of

the heavy equipment at Loup’s Genoa Headworks.

His other duties include building discharge

pipeline for the dredge, constructing and maintaining

dikes in the Headworks discharge area, and other

hydro-related tasks.

Snyder is a native of Genoa and a graduate of

Genoa High School.

He and his wife, Rose, are the parents of a

daughter: Tanya, and a grandson, Easton.

Promotion

JOE KLECKNER

Dredge Operator

Joe Kleckner of Genoa was promoted to Dredge

Operator.

In his new role as Dredge Operator, Kleckner is part

of a team that operates and maintains the District’s

dredge at the Genoa Headworks.

Kleckner joined Loup in 2008 as a Maintenance

Man at the Genoa Headworks.

He was promoted to Equipment Operator in 2011

before being named Dredge Operator.

A native of Genoa, Kleckner is a graduate of Genoa

High School. He and his wife, Brooke, are the parents

of two children: Ryder and Annabelle.

16 GENERATOR


STAN WIELGUS

Line Foreman

Line Foreman Stan Wielgus retired after more than 38 years of service.

Wielgus joined Loup in 1980 as an Apprentice Lineman at the Columbus Service Center.

He was promoted to Lineman the following year and was promoted to Journeyman Lineman

in 1984.

Wielgus was named Service Foreman in 1990 and became Line Foreman in 2012.

As Line Foreman, Wielgus was in charge of the line crew that is responsible for

construction and maintenance of Loup’s electrical transmission and distribution system

in the Columbus Division. The Columbus Division includes the southeastern part of Platte

County and part of Colfax County.

A graduate of Columbus High School, Weilgus holds an Associate of Applied Science

Degree in Electricity/Management from Central Community College-Columbus.

Retired!

GENERATION RECORDS

Another generation record! October’s generation of

22,222,000 kWh broke the previous October monthly

generation record of 20,663,000 kWh set in 2008.

2018 and 2008 are the only years Loup has generated more

than 20,000,000 kWh during the month of October. Average

October generation is 14,565,000 kWh.

Loup set new monthly generation records for January, July,

August, September and October in 2018 thanks to favorable

weather conditions and employee dedication.

NEW TREES AT LOUP PARKS

Loup employees Andy Schmidt, Trent Crumley and Lance

Ferris planted nine new trees at Powerhouse Park, Lake

North and Loup Park this fall.

WINTER 2019 17


around the District

UPGRADES IN LEIGH

Leigh became a retail customer in October. Since then, Loup employees

have been working to upgrade equipment in the community including

power poles (left) and electrical meters (above).

The Gridstream automated meters installed by Keith Shonka and Tim

Ramaekers (top) alert Loup to outages almost as soon as they occur. They

also store data that can help verify usage if there is an unusually high bill.

18 GENERATOR

ALBION LIGHTS PARADE

Albion Division employees Sheila Sup, Adam Babl and

Cam Knopik did a fantastic job decorating a Loup truck

for the Albion Chamber of Commerce Light Parade on

November 29.


No change to retail rates in 2019

Retail rates for Loup Power District’s

retail customers will remain the same

for 2019.

The Loup Power District Board of

Directors reviewed and approved a

retail cost of service and rate design

study at the December 20 board

meeting.

The board analyzed the purchased

power costs from Nebraska Public

Power District (NPPD), the District’s

wholesale power supplier.

NPPD’s overall costs to Loup did not

change, although the allocation of

costs between the winter and summer

seasons did change.

Therefore, the District’s Board of

Directors felt there was no need to

change retail rates.

“Over the past several years the

District has reacted to changes in

wholesale power and operational

costs by making changes to the retail

rates,” said Jim Donoghue, chairman

of Loup’s Rates Committee.

“However, the District Board has

worked with management to keep

retail rate levels the same in 2019 as

they were in 2018.”

Donoghue added that Loup’s board

has implemented a long-term

strategy to maintain its reserve

margin at reasonable levels and keep

retail rates competitive.

“Over the past several years, the

District’s costs have shifted from

the summer months to the winter

months due to rate methodology

shifts from NPPD.”

Loup Power District’s overall rates

were 25.4 percent below the national

average and 12.5 percent below the

Nebraska average based on data

from a 2017 American Public Power

Association survey.

“Loup’s rates remain among the

Average Prices for Residential Electricity

2017 figures, in cents per kWh

CA

18.3¢

WA

9.7¢

OR

10.7¢

NV

12¢

AK

21.3¢

ID

10¢

UT

11¢

AZ

12.4¢

MT

11¢

WY

11.4¢

CO

12.2¢

NM

12.9¢

HI

29.5¢

ND

10.3¢

SD

11.8¢

NE

11¢

lowest in Nebraska and the Nation,”

said Loup Board Chairman Rich Aerni.

Overall, Loup Power District’s rates

are in the lowest tenth percentile

both statewide and nationally.

Energy or kilowatt-hour (kWh) usage

is always the determining factor in a

customer’s bill.

Customers in all rate classifications

continue to have opportunities

to reduce their costs by taking

advantage of numerous programs

offered by the District.

These programs include energy

incentives and home energy audits.

KS

13.3¢

TX

11¢

OK

10.6¢

MN

13¢

IA

12.3¢

MO

11.6¢

AR

10.3¢

WI

14.4¢

LA

9.7¢

IL

13¢

MS

11.1¢

U.S. Average: 12.9¢ per kWh

MI

15.4¢

AL

12.6¢

VT: 17.7¢

NH: 19.2¢

MA: 20.1¢

RI: 18.3¢

CT: 20.3¢

PA

14.2¢

NY

18¢

IN OH

12.3¢ 12.6¢

WV

VA

KY 11.6¢

11.6¢

10.9¢ NC

TN

10.9¢

10.7¢

GA

11.9¢

SC

13¢

FL

11.6¢

ME

16¢

NJ: 15.7¢

DE: 13.4¢

MD: 14¢

DC: 12.9¢

Residential Average Price

(cents per kilowatt-hour)

Under 10 ¢ Over 12.5¢

10¢ to 12.5¢

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Numbers rounded to nearest tenth of a cent

Loup Power

District’s rates

are in the lowest

tenth percentile

statewide and

nationally.

For more information on the District’s retail rates and energy-saving programs,

visit the District’s website at www.loup.com.

WINTER 2019 19


2404 15th Street | PO Box 988

Columbus, NE 68602-0988

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