North Omaha Station

From Global Energy Monitor

North Omaha Station is a 644.7-megawatt (MW) natural gas and coal-fired power station owned and operated by Omaha Public Power District in Omaha, Nebraska.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Omaha Public Power District
  • Parent Company: City of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 644.7 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 73.5 MW (1954), Unit 2: 108.8 MW (1957), Unit 3: 108.8 MW (1959), Unit 4: 136.0 MW (1963), Unit 5: 217.6 MW (1968)
  • Location: 7475 Pershing Dr., Omaha, NE 68112
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.328746, -95.949124
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Energy), Caballo Mine (Peabody Energy), Belle Ayr Mine (Bluegrass Commodities)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Conversions: Units 1, 2 and 3 were converted to natural gas in 2016 and units 4 and 5 will be converted before 2024.[2]
  • Unit Retirements: Units 1, 2 and 3 are scheduled for retirement in December 2023.[3]

Unit Conversions and Retirements

In June 2014 owner Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) said it will retire three of five generating units at the 60-year-old North Omaha plant by 2016. The two remaining units will remain on coal but be retrofitted with additional emission controls, and then converted to run on natural gas by 2023. OPPD said the changes will allow the utility to be compliant with new mercury and air toxic standards adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The decision over the power station grew out of stakeholder meetings for a 20-year generation plan for OPPD. The plan puts OPPD on track for having 33 percent of its retail generation load come from renewable sources by 2018 (as well as 31 percent from coal, 33 percent nuclear, and 3 percent natural gas and oil by 2018). The measure approved by the OPPD board is estimated to have minimal effect on customer rates, ranging from zero to 2 percent over a 20-year period.[4]

The plant's first three coal-fired units were retired and converted to natural gas in March to April 2016. [5][3] Units 4 and 5 will also be converted to natural gas before 2024.[2]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,065,696 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 14,315 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 6,259 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 216 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from North Omaha Station

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[6] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from North Omaha Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 14 $100,000,000
Heart attacks 22 $2,400,000
Asthma attacks 240 $13,000
Hospital admissions 10 $240,000
Chronic bronchitis 9 $3,900,000
Asthma ER visits 15 $6,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "OPPD seeks OK for solar plant as large as 600 MW", october 24, 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory", accessed April 2021
  4. "OPPD to cut emissions at coal plants," Lincoln Journal Star Online, June 19, 2014.
  5. Jason Kuiper, "It’s an end of an era at North Omaha Station," The Wire, March 18, 2016
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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