Power for Progress…
A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority
Providing low cost, reliable electricity, on a not-for-profit basis, to 46 million Americans; that is what the nation’s public power utilities accomplish every day.
The Grand River Dam Authority is one of those 2,000-plus utilities and joins with the others to celebrate “National Public Power Week” October 6 – 12. Each year, the American Public Power Association (APPA) designates the first full week in October for this celebration, which recognizes the contributions made by public power utilities, large and small, all across the United States. Los Angeles, Orlando and Memphis are public power communities, but so are approximately 1 in 10 Oklahoma communities, including the 16 that buy wholesale electricity directly from GRDA.
For public power municipals large and small, the process works the same: communities own and operate their own electric distribution system and revenues from the sale of electricity help to fund other city services. Parks, streets, police and fire protection can all benefit financially from the locally-owned electric utility.
In terms of generation, GRDA is the nation’s 16th largest public power utility, producing electricity with coal, hydro, gas and wind resources to supply not only Oklahoma communities but rural electric cooperatives and Oklahoma industry as well. GRDA is also actively involved in helping to guide public power issues on the national level. Today, GRDA CEO Dan Sullivan is a member of the APPA CEO Climate Change Task Force. Originally formed in 2006 to assist APPA in developing policy positions on climate change, the task force expanded its mission to address the many environmental regulations impacting the nation’s public power utilities.
GRDA is also a member of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC), which includes the nation’s 26 largest publicly-owned electric utilities. That organization advocates for policies that allow public power systems to build infrastructure, invest in communities (like GRDA customer communities in Oklahoma) and provide reliable service at affordable rates.
High reliability and low rates … both central to the overall GRDA mission and both good reasons to celebrate Public Power Week 2013.
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 touches75 of 77 counties in the state. At no cost to 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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