America’s Electric Grid: Why Is Our Thinking in the Dark?

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By Mike Hyland, Senior Vice President of Engineering Services, American Public Power Association I remember working in Washington, DC in the fall of 1999 as the U.S. was bracing for the “big one.” The end of the world. Armageddon. A scare known as Y2K. The electric industry was put under a microscope to ensure that the electric grid would survive the stroke of midnight on the evening of … [Read more...]

A Trio of Teammates Share Camping Stories

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About a month ago, a call went out for NPPD teammates to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards) and relate a camping experience for the NPPD Behind Your Outlet blog. Here, then, are three short stories that extoll the wonders of “roughing it” in the modern camping world, recall a wonderful camping experience that sets a tone for years to come, and a cautionary tale that makes it clear, a joke … [Read more...]

‘Unplug?’ Difficulties Can Arise

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Summer is a perfect time to join your family in exploring Nebraska’s great outdoors. NPPD does our part by providing top-notch recreational opportunities for the public, free of charge. Across the state, NPPD’s parks, lakes and camping areas are ready to go. Earlier this spring, a call for camping stories was sent out to NPPD teammates. For the next several weeks, those will be highlighted on … [Read more...]

The Parachute Failed

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A safety item that I want to share is one that we hear at this time, every year – FIREWORKS SAFETY. We hear this so much that out of habit, I have a tendency to let it go in one ear and out the other, but on July 4th, 2008 this hit close to home. My favorite celebration with my family is the 4th of July. We make this an all-day event with swimming, games, food, etc., but most of all … [Read more...]

Summer can be learnin’ time

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It’s summer, and my teenage kids grunt and groan at every family meal. They roll their eyes. They say in morose tones: “Here we go again.” They do not do these things because my wife and I are bad cooks. No, they complain because it is summer, and they feel they don’t need a science lesson at every meal. Lucky for them I don’t agree. I see the moments we spend sitting around the dinner table as … [Read more...]

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a … drone?

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  We know drones are small, unmanned aircraft that have been used primarily for military purposes but are now being studied for a variety of commercial uses. Drones are also a burgeoning hobby of aviation enthusiasts around the world. I admit I am intrigued by the idea of drones for commercial use. Can you imagine having a package delivered right to your doorstep by a drone instead of a … [Read more...]

Low-Cost, No-Cost Summer Efficiency

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As we roll into summer, many people wonder when heat waves will begin and bring the season’s first air-conditioning bill. While a newer, high-efficiency air conditioner or heat pump usually reduces cooling costs, they also require a sizable investment. So what can a homeowner do this summer to save energy without breaking the piggy bank? Read on! Windows – When it cools off at night, turn off … [Read more...]

Investment Recovery: Finding value, promoting efficiency

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We were out for supper the other night and one of our friends asked what I did for NPPD.  I said, “I’m an Investment Recovery Coordinator.”  She replied, “With stock, bonds or some kind of investments?” I said, “No, investment recovery means we sell, redeploy, scrap or get rid of surplus systems, equipment and parts to get the best return on investment that we can. In other words, after … [Read more...]

Arbor Day Celebration – The cherry on top of my ice cream sundae

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One thing I love about my job is being able to plan events. I enjoy organizing things, meeting new people and making sure everything is crossed off my “to do” list. As a special benefit, planning events allows me to travel out of town a few times each year for NPPD related activities. One such event is the Arbor Day Celebration, held annually the third week of April. Actually, it was a … [Read more...]

‘Always There’: More than words

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Just like that lone power line structure still standing following the ice storm during the winter of 2006-2007, NPPD’s surveyors are always there when you need us as well. Most of the time we might go unnoticed, though, because we often do our jobs before the action starts, or we are working in the background. But I can promise you that when surveyors are needed, we will be right there beside line … [Read more...]