More about future generation …

Power for Progress …

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority

Making important decisions on a broad range of issues …

That is a good way to describe much of the work done by the Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors ever since GRDA’s creation in 1935.

Robert S. Kerr Dam (Lake Hudson) was the second electric generating facility constructed by GRDA, approximately 20 years after completion of the first facility, Pensacola Dam. Even today, after 70-plus years of service to Oklahoma, GRDA is still planning for future generation resources, to meet the electricity needs of thousands of Oklahomans.

Robert S. Kerr Dam (Lake Hudson) was the second electric generating facility constructed by GRDA, approximately 20 years after completion of the first facility, Pensacola Dam. Even today, after 70-plus years of service to Oklahoma, GRDA is still planning for future generation resources, to meet the electricity needs of thousands of Oklahomans.

With a monthly agenda that can include everything from new rules for fishing tournaments to new poles for a power lines, the board reviews and takes action on items that impact all phases of GRDA, including a workforce of 500 Oklahomans, an electric utility operation that helps power the state from border to border and a lakes region that draws visitors from all over the country.

Yet, even with all that broad responsibility, there are still some months, meetings and decisions that stand out. Perhaps August 2013 will be remembered as one of those.

During that meeting – held at the GRDA Ecosystems and Education Center in Langley – the board gave its approval to an important plan that will help GRDA continue to meets it mission as a low-cost, reliable electricity supplier. The decision to go forward with the development of a new gas-fired generation facility means GRDA will be able to strengthen an already-diverse and beneficial mixture of electric generation resources that also includes coal, hydroelectricity and wind power.

In fact, that important action came on the heels of another significant vote related to electric generation. In July, the board voted to begin the process to retrofit the air quality control equipment on Unit 2 at the Coal Fired Complex, which will help the facility to meet new standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Together, these decisions – both the result of much research and discussion with customers and other stakeholders – are important steps towards GRDA’s goal to meet the needs of customers for years to come. In that way, they reflect similar decisions made by GRDA throughout its 70-plus decades of service to Oklahoma.

Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable; electricity – produced by that diverse and beneficial mixture of coal, hydroelectric, gas and wind resources – touches 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.

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