GRDA’s 2017 in review: October – December

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

This week we conclude our look back on the Grand River Dam Authority’s 2017 by reviewing some of the highlights from a very busy, and historic fall.

For GRDA, it was a three-month period of firsts, new eras and restorations.

Preparation and planning were the buzzwords across the Authority in October as Team GRDA geared up to host three very special events. The first one – the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) Lineworkers’ Rodeo – took place at the MidAmerica Expo Center (south of Pryor) on October 26. The event was an opportunity for public power lineworkers from all over the state (as well as Arkansas and Missouri) to not only engage in friendly competition but also work together and, most importantly, learn from each other. It marked the first time GRDA has ever hosted the statewide event, but plans are in place for the rodeo to return to again in a few years.

Recognizing the restoration… GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan (left) and GRDA Chairman Joe Vandevier unveil a plaque during the GRDA Board of Directors meeting on November 8, 2017, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC). The plaque recognized the completion of the Unit 2 restoration effort; one of the significant events of GRDA’s 2017.

The following day, GRDA celebrated a new era of electric generation when it cut the ribbon on the Unit 3 combined cycle gas plant, with hundreds of guests in attendance, at the Grand River Energy Center (GREC). That historic event was further highlighted by the news that Unit 3 is the most efficient 60 hertz power plant in the world. One day later, GREC played host to GRDA’s annual Family & Safety Appreciation Day, as hundreds of employees and their family members converged on the site for tours of the new Unit 3 and the rebuilt Unit 2.

Speaking of Unit 2, GRDA rededicated this important generation component at the board meeting in mid-November. Damaged by a catastrophic fire in July 2016, the unit was ready to return to service on November 8 when GRDA’s board and management, along with partners in the restoration project, gathered for the unveiling of the new plaque at the GREC to mark the unit’s completion and the beginning of a new “Unit 2” era at GRDA.

By December, 2017 was beginning to wind down for Team GRDA, although the 24/7/365 mission always continues on. From our Team GRDA family to your family; Happy New Year!

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. Each day, GRDA strives to be an “Oklahoma agency of excellence” by focusing on the 5 E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.