OPPD representative says board will provide letter of intent to proceed with third party operator for solar project near McCool


YORK COUNTY – Dustin Marvel, representing the Omaha Public Power District, told the York County Commissioners this past week the OPPD board will soon be providing to the county a letter of intent stating their commitment to having a third party operate the proposed K Junction Solar project near McCool.

The importance of a third party operator is that this particular entity – which has yet to be determined – would be responsible for paying name plate tax. That would provide revenue to the McCool School District and York County, should the project become a reality.

Some had raised concerns about whether the name plate tax would actually become a reality if OPPD was the owner/operator, as OPPD is a public entity which is not required to pay such a tax.

But Marvel, reiterating what OPPD officials told the county board two weeks ago, said that is still the intent – for a third party operator to take part in this project and pay those taxes.

“I just wanted to come here to give you an update,” Marvel told the commissioners during their public forum portion of their meeting. “We heard your concerns about OPPD owning and operating this project and we want to stress our intent is still to have a third party operator. During today’s (Tuesday’s) OPPD committee meeting, it will be discussed and in a couple of days we plan to have to you a letter of intent to transfer to a private developer. We want to reassure to you that this intent is still intact.”

Marvel said OPPD “understands agricultural land is cherished here and we are respectful of that.”

He also said the proposed setbacks – which were later pushed forward by the county commissioners for public input – “will create a situation where there is vacant land, which erodes landowners’ rights. We ask you to recognize that. And we remain committed to transparent communication.”


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