Grand River Dam Authority, Part of Oklahoma’s Economic Engine

The words “economic engine” have been associated with the Grand River Dam Authority for many years. It is fitting when you consider that GRDA’s low-cost, reliable power has been an attractive inducement for business and industry to locate in Oklahoma since the first megawatts of electricity were produced at Pensacola Dam. It is also fitting when you consider that the popularity of GRDA’s Grand Lake, created with the 1940 completion of the dam, continues to grow. Finally, it all fits when you consider that electricity, economic development and environmental awareness (caring for the resources under its control) are all central to the overall GRDA mission.

And to see exactly where it all fits, you can reference numbers like those found in a new study, commissioned by GRDA and conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Released in March, this Economic Impact of the Grand River Dam Authority study takes a closer look at the impact GRDA’s operations, new construction and other positive externalities will have on the state in the years ahead.

According to the study, when focusing on the operational impact alone, GRDA’s economic impact in 2016 is projected to be:
• $541 million in economic activity (output)
• 2,870 jobs (supported by GRDA operations)
• $150 million in real disposable income across the state

However, those are just the key figures from the report’s executive summary. There is much more information – looking further into the future and broken down into more detail — about GRDA’s impact on tourism, quality of life, and more. In the weeks ahead, this Power for Progress space will look at all this as it explores more about the GRDA “economic engine” and its operations in Oklahoma.

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 500 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.

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