The Grand River Dam Authority is proud to be one of 2,200 publicly owned electric utility systems in the United States today. Together, these systems are serving almost 35 million people in every state (except Hawaii) through the concept of customer-ownership, customer-control.
Though the concept of public power has a been a part of the American way of life for over a century, it really began to boom in the 1930s and 1940s. Small, rural communities—because of low-growth potential—were unattractive to investor-owned utilities (IOUs). That meant electricity would only come to these communities if the citizens chose to do it themselves. GRDA’s story is similar: The construction of Pensacola Dam brought reliable, abundant electricity to a rugged, undeveloped area in Northeast Oklahoma in the early 1940s.