GRDA and MidAmerica

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

While electricity produced by the Grand River Dam Authority helps to power thousands of homes in Oklahoma communities, it also helps to move Oklahoma industry forward.
In fact, ever since the creation of the MidAmerica Industrial Park in 1960 (often called the nation’s largest rural industrial park), GRDA power has been a part of this hub of Oklahoma industry and manufacturing.

A GRDA power line maintenance crew replaces an electric distribution pole in the MidAmerica Industrial Park (between Pryor and Chouteau). GRDA has crews stationed adjacent to the park, which helps to improve response time, customer service and reliability to the nearly 80 industries that call MidAmerica home.

Located between Pryor and Chouteau, the 9,000-acre industrial park is home to nearly 80 companies today and most are GRDA electricity customers. According to maip.com, these companies collectively employ over 4,500 people in a wide variety of industrial and manufacturing settings. In MidAmerica, the electricity produced by Oklahomans at GRDA is used by other Oklahomans to produce everything from paper and ductile iron to food products and engineered cooling systems.
The GRDA Coal Fired Complex, which supplies much of the electricity to industrial park residents, sits on MidAmerica’s southern edge, which translates into high reliability. Meanwhile, GRDA’s electric transmission maintenance department – including a crew dedicated to industrial park customers – is headquartered adjacent to MidAmerica. That translates into quick response time to meet industrial customer needs and also enhances reliability. While low-cost GRDA electricity is an attractive inducement to industries locating in MidAmerica, the availability of abundant water from the Grand River, located just east of the Park, is also a key reason many industries call the area home. This power and water “in one spot” (which was once a slogan used to recruit potential industrial customers) is still helping GRDA and MidAmerica fulfill their important economic development mission for Oklahoma.

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 years.                                                                                                                                                             
 — Justin Alberty, GRDA Corporate Communications Director

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This article is part of the GRDA Power For Progress series.