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Power for Progress: Sharing the public power story

Power for Progress: Sharing the public power story

GRDA's Unit 3
A nighttime shot of GRDA’s Unit 3 combined cycle gas generator. Located at the Grand River Energy Center near Chouteau, Unit 3 provides “public power” to 15 municipally owned electric distribution systems in Oklahoma.

Power for Progress…

A weekly column from the Grand River Dam Authority


Sharing the public power story


When municipalities from across the state of Oklahoma gather this week for a conference in Tulsa, the Grand River Dam Authority will be there to join them.

The event is the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) Annual Conference, a gathering of Oklahoma city and town officials and others who play an active role in helping support and govern the many communities, large and small in Oklahoma. Joining with the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) and the Oklahoma Municipal Alliance, GRDA attends to help tell the story of “Oklahoma public power” and the vital role it plays in many of these communities.

Today, one of out every ten communities in the state is a public power community. That means the local electric distribution system is owned and operated locally, by the municipality. It also means that local resources are matched to meet local needs. Meanwhile, other benefits of public power utilities include competitive rates, high reliability, customer responsiveness, local economic development and, of course, a strong focus on the local community.

Of course, the bottom line is often the dollars. And even then, the benefits of public power are strong. In fact, the 15 Oklahoma public power utilities that purchase their wholesale electricity from GRDA, then resell it to end-users across their respective communities, combine to return $35 million to their city general funds on annual basis. All of that is done at no cost to taxpayers. Those are real dollars that can then be used to support other city services, like police and fire protection, streets, and park maintenance

In other words, public power enhances quality of life in Oklahoma hometowns.

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. 


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