The growth and development of Norris Public Power District closely paralleled the electrical movement in rural America which started with the establishment of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in 1935. The leaders in what is now the Norris District were contemporaries with national figures who paved the way for the electrification of rural America.
The concept of public power was advanced in the early 1930s when a movement was made to develop irrigation to improve the economy. In 1933, the Nebraska Legislature passed Senate File 310 which provided for the creation of public power and irrigation districts. Public power districts such as Norris subsequently came into existence to provide electric service in areas which had previously been denied central station electric power.
On August 15, 1933, the first retail power district known as the Southeastern Nebraska Public Power District was organized in Gage County. Over the next six years, the Lancaster County, Norris Rural Public Power District and Thayer County Public Power Districts were formed which served Lancaster, Saline, Jefferson and Thayer counties. In March 1941, the four districts consolidated into one public power district, which took the name of Norris Public Power District, in honor of U.S. Senator George W. Norris. The District’s general offices have been located in Beatrice since March 1946.
On March 24, 2017, the Nebraska Power Review Board approved the merger of Norris Public Power District and Seward County Public Power District effective May 1, 2017. The common territory boundaries and operational similarities were among many reasons as to why the merger was ideal.