The Grand River Dam Authority Board of Directors made a couple of important decisions in November to help move GRDA towards goals outlined in its plan for future generation resources.

At its November 13 meeting, the GRDA Board gave its approval for Black & Veatch to perform engineering and support services associated with site development and ultimate construction of a new combined cycle gas plant and related substation.

The plan is to locate that new generation asset – Unit 3 – next to the two existing units that already comprise GRDA’s Coal Fired Complex (CFC), just east of Chouteau. This recent board action means much of the preliminary work is getting underway as GRDA moves steadily towards its goal of having the plant operational in 2017.

Of course, when it is operational, this new plant will bring more balance to GRDA’s overall electric generation portfolio, which already includes coal, gas, hydro and wind generation assets. That greater balance was a primary goal when GRDA began discussing the long-term plan many months ago.

The new facility will be a “combined cycle” plant which means it will have the ability to recover the exhaust heat (energy) produced when the burning of natural gas rotates a turbine to produce electricity in the first stage. That recovered heat will then be used to produce steam, which will also turn a generator to produce electricity in the second stage.

There are many advantages to building this new, efficient, generation resource next to the CFC. Existing land, electric transmission connections, ample water supply and many other physical assets are already in place. The location will also allow existing GRDA staff at the CFC to help in construction oversight.

No matter what the generation resource, GRDA’s ultimate goal remains the same: “to provide low-cost, reliable electric power and related services to our customers and to be responsive to the interests and concerns of public power users, the communities we affect, and the people of the state of Oklahoma.”

Assets like the new gas plant, along with the existing, diverse resource mixture, will help GRDA to meet that goal for customers all across Oklahoma.