Looking forward to 2013’s Power and Progress …

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

As it closes the books on 2012, the Grand River Dam Authority will look back at a tremendously busy year marked by milestone events, large projects and new initiatives across the organization.

Up, up and away … A rotor from one of the hydroelectric turbines at GRDA’s Robert S. Kerr Dam is removed from the unit during the rebuild project in the spring of 2012. That rebuild was just one of the large projects undertaken by GRDA in 2012 and will continue into the new year.

Up, up and away … A rotor from one of the hydroelectric turbines at GRDA’s Robert S. Kerr Dam is removed from the unit during the rebuild project in the spring of 2012. That rebuild was just one of the large projects undertaken by GRDA in 2012 and will continue into the new year.

Among the activities in 2012 was a new commitment to communications. When 2012 was less than a month old, GRDA hosted a series of customer meetings at the Energy Control Center in Locust Grove. The agenda included an overview of the organization’s 10-year financial forecast and discussion on future generation needs and the utility’s effort to navigate through a large amount of new rules and regulations associated with the industry. A similar meeting was held in late September and January 2013’s calendar also includes meetings for further in-depth discussions with customers.

Lakeside, GRDA started a new water quality monitoring effort in 2012. Back in the spring, during a special media event at the Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley, the Ecosystems Management Department highlighted the new monitoring program which utilizes GPS locations on Grand and Hudson lakes, equipment in GRDA’ s state-of-the-art water quality laboratory and new electronic floating water quality monitors in Grand and Hudson. Like other lake management organizations in the state, the Authority also began participation in the new statewide Blue Green Algae (BGA) notification program in 2012, and has been supplying the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation with all its monitoring data (visit travelok.com/checkmyoklake for the latest information). Fortunately, there were NO signs of BGA on GRDA lakes in 2012.

Overall, much of 2012 was devoted to evaluation and improvement. Just over a year ago (December 8, 2011) GRDA received the findings a performance audit conducted by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector’s Office. Using those findings as a benchmarking tool, the organization has been able to implement new processes and procedures to better prepare itself for 2013 and beyond. Implementation of many of the recommendations of the KPMG efficiency audit – conducted in the summer – will also occur in 2013.

Of course, this weekly Power for Progress column also began with 2012. Throughout the year, it has existed to illustrate the bigger picture of GRDA and better inform readers about the organization’s broad responsibilities, its workforce, its history and its positive economic impact on the state of Oklahoma. There were plenty of things to highlight in 2012 though space limitations don’t allow for a comprehensive year-in-review here. However, as GRDA enters 2013, we look forward to continuing to tell our story and cooperating with stakeholders on the issues and projects that affect their lives.

We are planning for a New Year of power and progress in 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-plus years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              — Justin Alberty
                                                                                                                                                                                               GRDA Corporate Communications Director

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