GRDA celebrates National Public Power Week

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.

A sign, highlighting the partnership between Skiatook and the Grand River Dam Authority, welcomes visitors to the community. Skiatook is one of many Oklahoma municipals, and GRDA customers, that benefits from owning its own electric distribution system.

Collectively, that is what the nation’s 2,000 public power electric utilities – including the Grand River Dam Authority – do on a daily basis. To celebrate those contributions and many other s made by the nations’ publicly-owned electric utilities, the first week in October is recognized as National Public Power Week.

The week is a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C.  APPA is the service organization for community- and state-owned electric utilities, including GRDA and the many Oklahoma communities its supplies with electricity.

Across the nation, public power is found in communities large and small. Los Angeles, Orlando and Memphis are public power communities, but so are Pawnee and Stroud (both longtime GRDA customers) in Oklahoma. No matter what the size, the public power 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. That is the tradition celebrated and recognized by National Public Power Week.

[tubepress video=45649657]

Meanwhile, the APPA is an organization that gives the locally-owned systems a voice in Washington, D.C. Working together, they help set national utility policies and map out a future that insures low-cost reliable power, will always be part of main street, whether that main street is in Collinsville, Oklahoma, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Braintree, Massachusetts or Jacksonville, Florida.

Several GRDA personnel, including GRDA Chief Executive Officer/Director of Investments Dan Sullivan, play an active role in APPA. Sullivan was recently named to the APPA’s CEO Climate Change and Generation Policy 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. So, even while it joins in the celebration of public power, GRDA is also contributing to efforts to secure public power benefits for future generations.

For more on public power and its contributions, view the APPA-produced video now being featured at a link to this article on

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.

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