Oklahoma’s Public Power Team

Apr 27, 2022

Public power for Oklahoma … GRDA linemen and substation technicians work near a substation that supplies reliable, abundant electricity to one of GRDA’s 15 Oklahoma public power customer communities.

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

They came from all over the state this week to meet in Norman for the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) Public Power Conference.

As the name suggests this is the annual gathering of Oklahoma’s public power team. Representatives from the state’s cities and towns that own their own electric utility system were there to discuss current industry issues, attend training sessions and meet with their industry peers.

Of course, the Grand River Dam Authority was well-represented at the conference. As the wholesale electric supplier for 15 Oklahoma communities, GRDA is an integral part of Oklahoma’s public power team and has been for many years. In fact, the majority of GRDA partnerships with its municipal customer communities are nearing 70 years old, with several ready to celebrate 75 years.

These partnerships allow customer communities to buy electricity from GRDA at wholesale (not-for-profit) rates and then resell it to their local end-users at retail rates. The profit made from those sales is then used to help fund important municipal service efforts such as police and fire protection, streets, and parks. These are important and necessary revenue dollars made possible at no cost to Oklahoma taxpayers, because of the existence of the Oklahoma Public Power Team.

While GRDA serves 15 communities across the state, you can find public power systems in one of every ten Oklahoma communities, spread across 41 counties. Combined, these systems generate roughly $350 million in revenues from electricity sales each year and a large portion of those revenues stay home, in these Oklahoma hometowns.

As part of its “5E” pledge, GRDA “will produce low-cost, reliable electricity for its customers.” It also promises to “support economic growth and quality of life enhancement in Oklahoma.” Of course, to do those things well requires strong working relationships with its Oklahoma public power partners. Taking part in this annual gathering is one way to nurture those relationships. GRDA is proud to be part of the Oklahoma public power team.

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.