Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
for the Year Ended December 31, 2011
Prepared by GRDA’s Finance and
Corporate Communications Departments
The Grand River Dam Authority exists today because our organization’s founders acted upon their “grand expectations” for Oklahoma. Those expectations included low-cost, reliable electricity, economic development and environmental stewardship. They expected to build dams, grand lakes and electric generation and delivery facilities where none had ever been built before. Along the way, they expected to boost Oklahoma business and industry and transform a rugged, rural landscape into a region where thousands would want to live, work and play.
In other words, they expected the GRDA that exists today. Like an eagle rising into the air, those grand expectations took flight when construction began on Pensacola Dam. Expectations continued to soar as GRDA developed its electricity system, established partnerships with Oklahoma customers, and helped create the region’s premier recreation destination around the shores of GRDA lakes.
Grand Expectations is not just our current theme, it is our message. The expectations embody our willingness to follow through with a new commitment to communication
and compliance. It incorporates Oklahoma’s self-reliant spirit and visionary leaders from days gone by; it characterizes their struggles, triumphs, and ongoing successes. It includes GRDA’s history, mission, partnerships and the role in Oklahoma’s powerful story.
Grand expectations became grand realizations. Today, as we look back on 2011, GRDA can see what it was looking for when the year began: successful operations during our 77th year. Of course, there were challenges along the way, including blizzards, droughts, heat waves and a leadership transition. However, GRDA has been able to soar above the challenges and maintain its role as a powerful Oklahoma asset. The pages of this comprehensive annual financial report outline our flight through 2011.
It is a flight we hope to continue in the future.In fact, we have come to expect it.
The potential for the Grand River Dam Authority existed long before the GRDA idea was born. Winding its way for centuries through what would one day become Northeast Oklahoma, the Grand River was both the inspiration and the foundation for GRDA.
When GRDA was created in 1935, its mission was to harness the waters of the river. In doing so, new benefits were realized for the very waters that had already helped to sustain mankind for thousands of years. The site between the sudden boom towns of Disney and Langley, looking for work during some of the darkest days of the Great Depression. Together, they built Oklahoma’s first hydroelectric facility and one of the world’s longest multiplearch dams, giving a concrete and steel reality to the GRDA idea. By the end of 1940, Pensacola Dam was in full operation and providing electricity to Northeastern Oklahoma.
The Grand River Dam Authority thinks so. And everyday, the GRDA workforce, with support from customers and the people of Oklahoma, works to complete this mission.
During 2009, GRDA proved this multifaceted mission was possible as it provided electricity, supported economic development and maintained proper stewardship of the natural resources under its control. At the same time, GRDA also planned ways to complete the mission in the years ahead.
Of course, while electricity generation, economic development and ecosystems management are the pillars of our mission, beneficial partnerships with customers and neighbors comprise the foundation for the whole organization. Through the pages of this 2009 GRDA Annual Report, we will take a closer look at all these areas and how it was “Mission: Possible” for the Authority in 2009.
Oklahoma’s Grade “A” Utility…
Ask the Grand River Dam Authority; its employees will tell you it takes a team effort. After all, “A” credit ratings do not just happen.
The effort is found in the board room, in the conference room and in the control room. It is found in the offices, at work behind the computer and behind the wheel. It is in the powerhouse, along the transmission rights-of-way and in the workshop. It is effort that succeeds because it is put forth by team members who have done their homework, know their roles and complete their assignments.
Within the pages of this 2008 GRDA Annual Report, we are excited to introduce you to some of our teammates as we detail the Grade “A” effort that led to a Grade “A” rating for GRDA.
Weathering the storms… together.
That may be one of the best ways to describe 2007 in Oklahoma. After all, a pair of historic ice storms served as bookends for the year, bringing with them plenty of devastation in the form of downed power lines, destroyed trees and cold, dark days and nights.
However, even the clouds of a winter ice storm can have a silver lining, and for GRDA, that silver lining was new strength. Though it required a lot of teamwork during some stormy days, GRDA recovered from the ice storms, with a new strength and new experiences that will better prepare it for the future.
Meanwhile, even as new power lines were rebuilt after the storms—to be better than they were before the storm—GRDA was also strengthening and rebuilding relationships in 2007.
Nearly two years’ worth of negotiations led to a new long term contract which GRDA and many of its municipal customers signed in 2007. Although these public power partnerships were already long-term (GRDA has served the majority of its municipal customers for over 60 years), the new contracts represented a new strength, and really, a new level of relationship. That strength, and the experiences associated with reaching these historic agreements, will prepare GRDA, and its customers, for the future.
They are beneficial agreements these public power partners can depend on for a long, long time.
Moving Oklahoma in a Grand Direction
This tradition—over 65 years old—of utilizing Oklahoma resources to meet Oklahoma needs resounded in 2006. Following three years of significant changes where GRDA embraced the basic fundamentals and principles of public power, and renewed commitments to provide necessary resources for its public power partners in the future, the role GRDA serves became clearer—and more valued.
GRDA’s overriding goals remain the same: to be Oklahoma’s low-cost, reliable electric supplier, to be a good steward of the resources under its control, and to be a valuable asset for the state of Oklahoma.
Following a year of significant changes, GRDA renewed commitments to provide necessary resources for its public power partners in the future by increasing accountability, reviewing corporate policies, telling its story to constituents and strengthening relationships with customers and stakeholders.
Why so much effort? Because the Grand River Dam Authority always strives to be Oklahoma’s low-cost, reliable electric supplier, as well as a good steward of the natural resources under its control.
Of course, there is still much to do. But if 2005 is any indication of what lies ahead, the Grand River Dam Authority is excited about embracing a grand future.
Change is inevitable. Sometimes it happens on its own, and organizations find themselves reacting to it. In such cases, change is not always for the better.
However, when an organization initiates the change—though that may mean making hard decisions and shaking up the status quo—it controls the change. In such cases, the end results are worth the effort. In 2004, GRDA initiated many changes within its organization. In the form of new management, new departments, new directions and a new focus on old issues, change came often.
Now, as we look back on the year, GRDA believes the changes of 2004 were well worth the effort.