When the COVID-19 pandemic began to emerge in 2020, Platte River took measures that emphasized staff safety and system reliability. Leadership promptly designed and implemented processes and protocols to protect staff at home and within Platte River facilities. Measures included the creation of onsite work teams, physically segregated and sequentially scheduled, to maintain consistent and reliable core functions of power generation and transmission – heavily emphasizing germ-free conditions and providing essential personal protective equipment. Due to the timely actions taken, COVID-related impacts to Platte River staff are low and system reliability remains high.
Platte River also acted quickly during the early days of the pandemic to reduce planned expenditures by postponing or canceling certain projects, including:
- The Rawhide Unit 1 minor outage
- Construction of the Energy Engagement Center
- Public events hosted by Platte River: NoCo Time Trials and ribbon cutting events for Platte River’s new headquarters, Roundhouse Wind Energy Center and Rawhide Prairie Solar
- All unnecessary travel and training, employee events and activities
Platte River and its staff further supported their owner communities by surpassing the annual United Way fundraising goal and by making various donations to agencies that support its owner communities during times of crisis.
Amid pandemic responses, Platte River successfully concluded the process of creating and adopting a landmark integrated resource plan placing the utility on the path to achieve long-term noncarbon energy goals. Therefore, despite the highly unusual circumstances of 2020, Platte River was able to continue, uninterrupted, its mission to safely provide reliable, environmentally responsible and financially sustainable energy and services to the owner communities.