The Grand River Dam Authority’s 2021 operating budget, highlighted by strong debt service coverage and continued healthy cash reserves was approved by the GRDA Board of Directors at its December 9 meeting in Tulsa.
GRDA’s goals for the 2021 budget were to maintain base rates while utilizing cash reserves as efficiently as possible. While the electric utility industry is very capital-intensive, GRDA continues to fund capital projects with reserves, rather than new debt. The new budget allows for sufficient reserves to complete new capital projects in the year ahead along with some projects delayed in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic. GRDA also forecasts a debt service coverage of 1.84 in 2021, greater than the 1.53 in 2020.
“Efficiency continues to be the driver for all GRDA operations,” said GRDA President/CEO Dan Sullivan, “and that is certainly true during the budget process. This budget allows us to continue to serve our customers in the most efficient manner possible while also pursuing some important initiatives in the year ahead.”
In 2021, GRDA also plans to expand some customer programs, designed to increase involvement among its customer group, including its 15 wholesale customer communities in Oklahoma. It will also explore possibilities to refund some existing debt to capture market favorability in the coming year. Finally, it will continue to fund its rate stabilization account.
GRDA is Oklahoma’s largest public power 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.