Meeting the broad mission in a new year

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

What does the Grand River Dam Authority expect from 2013?

It expects to meet its mission.

That may sound like a very simple answer but the truth is, the GRDA mission is very broad. When that mission is met, it means much has been accomplishment in areas ranging from electric production to ecosystems management and economic development.

Like every year, meeting that mission in 2013 will not be without its challenges. Today, there are major decisions that must be made to address the utility’s future electric generation portfolio. As it begins 2013, GRDA is at a crossroads of sorts, preparing to work its way through a wave of pending and potential new regulations related to the electric generation, along the path that makes the most economical and operation sense for its customers and the state of Oklahoma.

Out of season but not out of mind … GRDA Police Officer Lissa Brown is shown patrolling the waters of Grand Lake in this photo from July 2012. Though its mid-winter now, GRDA is already gearing up for Summer 2013 as it works to fulfill its role as a good steward of the resources under its control.

Out of season but not out of mind … GRDA Police Officer Lissa Brown is shown patrolling the waters of Grand Lake in this photo from July 2012. Though its mid-winter now, GRDA is already gearing up for Summer 2013 as it works to fulfill its role as a good steward of the resources under its control.

To meet its ecosystems and lake management mission, GRDA will continue with the efforts of the past but build on them with new initiatives and new input from the public. A late December meeting to discuss possible changes to dock rules was well-attended by lake area residents and offered the kind of feedback that can be gained nowhere else. It is that kind of cooperation — and that broad concern for the well-being of the GRDA lakes area — that the Authority knows it can gather again in 2013 to help it continue its effort to be a good steward of the natural resources under its control.

Internally, GRDA will look to implement new management procedures in 2013 that will help keep its most powerful asset – its workforce – performing at the highest levels possible. While that workforce is skilled and dedicated, and experienced, it’s a workforce that includes many employees who are nearing retirement eligibility. How does GRDA retain their knowledge when they retire? Who fills their shoes? What must be done to make sure workforce transitions are easy and interruptions to operations are minimal or non-existent? GRDA will look to answer those questions in the New Year. 

The year is full of unknowns too (at an electric utility the weather can always alter or change the best-laid plans) but where plans can be made and new steps can be taken to achieve the goals of a new year, GRDA is looking to do that. In the areas of generation, lake management, workforce management and others, GRDA understands there is much work to do in a 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. 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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