The Grand River Dam Authority is proud to join with Cushing and the nation’s 2,000 other publicly-owned electric utilities in celebration of National Public Power Week.

Each year, the American Public Power Association (APPA) designates the first full week in October to promote public power and the many benefits it provides. While each public power utility is a little different – based on hometown characteristics, needs and size – all have a common purpose: to provide reliable and safe, not-for-profit electricity while protecting the environment.

While most public power utilities are owned by communities, like Cushing some are owned by public utility districts or by states. The Grand River Dam Authority, which has provided Cushing wholesale electricity needs since 1953, is a state agency that has been meeting the electricity needs of thousand so Oklahomans since 1940.  Today, GRDA provides wholesale electricity to 16 Oklahoma public power communities. All of those communities depend on electric sales to fund other city services and all contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in electric revenues to their respective city general funds.

“We are proud of the public power role GRDA plays in Oklahoma,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Dan Sullivan. “Because of our partnerships with public power communities in the state, thousands of Oklahomans get to experience the benefits of a locally-owned, locally-controlled electric utility.”

Nationally, 14.4 percent of the population receives its electricity from a public power utility at rates that are, on average, lower than rates of an investor-owned electric utilities (IOUs). That percentage accounts for about 47 million in people in large communities like Los Angeles, California and much smaller communities like Cushing.

“One of the benefits of the public power model is that it’s custom-fit to benefit communities of all sizes,” said Sullivan, who represents Oklahoma public power as a member of the APPA Board of Directors. “Systems are structured to meet the unique needs of the customer base, all while keeping the revenues at home, in the community, where they can do the most good.”

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., APPA is the national trade association for the nation’s public power utilities. Headquartered in Vinita, GRDA is Oklahoma’s state-owned electric utility; fully funded by revenues from electric and water sales instead of taxes. GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power touches 75 of 77 counties in the state and serves as an important economic development engine for Oklahoma. 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 employees continue to produce the same “power for progress” that has benefited the state for 75 years. The efforts of Team GRDA facilitate over $450 million in economic activity in Oklahoma annually.