Power for Progress …
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
Grand and diversified …
That was the theme for the Grand River Dam Authority’s 2014 customer meeting series, held February 13 and 14 at the Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley. In meetings with customers representing Oklahoma municipals, electric cooperatives and industries, GRDA’s management team discussed the recently-approved plan for future electric generation, as well as the Authority’s ongoing plans for system improvements and changes coming to the electric utility market. GRDA also gave customers a 10-year financial forecast, which covered information on rates, bond indebtedness, capital improvements, energy resources and other issues.
The big topic at the meetings this year was the new combined cycle gas plant, which will be constructed adjacent to the GRDA Coal Fired Complex, add 495 megawatts of generation to the system and have the potential to be the most efficient gas generation unit of its type in the country. While much information about that new facility has already been shared in this space, GRDA’s ability to move forward with the project is a direct result of input and support it has received from its customers all across the state.
As for the “grand and diversified” theme? That represents both the Authority’s roots and its mission. With those roots firmly planted on the banks of the Grand River, GRDA has a diversified mission of electric generation and ecosystems management that supports economic development in Oklahoma, through the existence of low-cost, reliable electricity and a thriving recreation and tourism industry built on the waters of Grand and Hudson lakes. Of course “diversified” also defines GRDA’s generation portfolio, comprised of water, coal, gas and wind resources.
In fact, being grand and diversified is what allows GRDA to meet its mission: “To provide low-cost, reliable electric power and related services to our customers, while also being responsive to the interests and concerns of public power users, the communities we affect, and the people of the state of Oklahoma.”
Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 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 years.
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