New year, continuing partnerships

Jan 14, 2020


Powerful connections … A summertime shot along a GRDA high voltage powerline. GRDA supplies power to 15 Oklahoma customer communities, as well as others in Arkansas and Kansas. Most of the public power partnerships are over 50 years old.

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

The youngest turns 17 in 2020 and the oldest turns 74. In between, there is a wide range of ages, from 33 to 70. Their average age is over half a century … 54. Which is pretty impressive when you consider we are talking about partnerships, not people.

Today, the Grand River Dam Authority continues to supply abundant, reliable, competitively-priced wholesale electricity to 15 Oklahoma communities, along with others in Arkansas and Kansas. Some partnerships have been in place longer than others, but all of them are “public power” partnerships that serve to benefit the customers.

These partnerships work like this: GRDA sells wholesale electricity to these communities that own and operate their own electric distribution system. In turn, these communities sell the power, at retail, to residents. Revenues from those electric sales are then used to buy more electricity from GRDA, maintain the system, and fund other city services, like parks and streets, police and fire protection. And it is all accomplished without using any tax dollars.

It is a story we’ve told before, but it is story worth repeating for a new year, full of new opportunities and continuing partnerships. In fact, all of GRDA’s customer-communities have signed long-term agreements which mean they will continue to celebrate yearly milestones with GRDA, for many years to come.

GRDA is proud to supply power to these Oklahoma communities which, collectively, represent close to 80,000 electricity meters that are providing reliable and abundant power to hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans. Many have done that since the 1940s. All are set to do that until at least 2042.

GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned 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 5E’s: electricity, economic development, environmental stewardship, employees and efficiency.