An exercise in preparation

Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Grand River Dam Authority Superintendent of Homeland Security Chris Carlson (standing) addresses participants during an emergency action plan (EAP) drill, held in mid-December at the GRDA Energy Control Center.

Grand River Dam Authority Superintendent of Homeland Security Chris Carlson (standing) addresses participants during an emergency action plan (EAP) drill, held in mid-December at the GRDA Energy Control Center.

Grand River Dam Authority personnel gathered in mid-December for a very important annual exercise, centered around three letters: E…A…P.

For many GRDA employees, those letters always bring to mind the “Emergency Action Plan” which is actually a very important part of the Authority’s ongoing hydroelectric operations and overall preparedness. The EAP contains all the steps that would need to be taken in order to deal with certain emergency situations at GRDA dams (Pensacola, Robert S. Kerr and the Salina Pumped Storage Project) and associated structures.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which licenses each of GRDA’s hydroelectric facilities requires the Authority to have these EAPs in place and to review them on a regular basis. In fact, the annual drills and plan refinement have been a part of GRDA operations for many years.

While no one hopes to ever need to implement an EAP, that still does not diminish the need to plan, prepare and review. In fact, the open discussion generated by the annual exercise is a great way for many GRDA employees, spread across several different facilities and representing several different departments, to come together and meet that need. The anticipated result is that everyone involved gains even greater familiarity with their role.

Of course, many things have changed since the first time Pensacola’s hydroelectric generators spun in 1940, but the Authority’s commitment to doing it safely and responsibly has never changed. In fact, even as a plan for future generation begins to take shape in the years ahead – bringing even more diversity to an already beneficial mixture of coal, gas, wind and hydro assets – GRDA’s foundational effort to produce low-cost, renewable electricity by harnessing Grand River’s waters will continue on.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Directly or indirectly, GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity serves nearly 500,000 homes in Oklahoma and stretches into 75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, GRDA also manages 70,000 surface acres of lakes in the state, including Grand Lake, Lake Hudson and the W.R. Holway Reservoir. Today, GRDA’s 500 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75-plus years.
— Justin Alberty
GRDA Corporate Communications Director

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