Vinita – The Grand River Dam Authority will soon be listed among the nation’s largest publicly owned not-for-profit, electric utilities as a member of the Large Public Power Council (LPPC). At its June 13 meeting, the GRDA Board gave its approval to accept a membership invitation from LPPC.
“We believe membership in the LPPC will prove to be very beneficial to GRDA and its ratepayers,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer/Director of Investments Dan Sullivan. “Nationwide, its members speak with one unified voice on the major issues affecting utilities and public power organizations.”
Sullivan said the organization extended a membership offer to GRDA after he and GRDA Chief Financial Officer Carolyn Dougherty were guests at a recent LPPC meeting. That meeting, added Sullivan, was an opportunity for both parties to learn more about each other’s challenges, and priorities.
“The LPPC’s public policy priorities really mirror GRDA’s,” said Sullivan. LPPC’s priorities include tax and finance issues, interaction with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), energy and environmental policies.
According to its website, LPPC “works to develop and advance consumer-oriented positions on national energy issues … From New York to California and from Washington state to Florida, LPPC members provide reliable, low-cost electric service to most of the more than 45 million people served by public power.”
Sullivan added that the organization was also “member driven” with very little overhead and administrative issues that might slow efforts to set policies.
“LPPC has a limited staff, so the members set the priorities. Leadership from LPPC utilities are the ones at the decision-making table,” said Sullivan. “I think GRDA will benefit greatly from those types of discussions and the strong voice LPPC has on the federal level.”
Criteria for membership in LPPC, which was established in 1987, is based on a utility’s generation and transmission capabilities, as well as the number of ultimate customers. In 2010, GRDA was ranked as the 16th largest public power utility, by generation, by the American Public Power Association (APPA). LPPC member utilities operate more than 35,000 circuit miles of high voltage transmission capacity. With the addition of GRDA, the organization will have members located in 12 states and Puerto Rico.
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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