The Grand River Dam Authority announced today that Chief Operating Officer Michael Kiefner has received certification as a North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Coordinator. This is the highest level of certification that can be obtained by a system operator in North America. Kiefner passed the certification testing in March.

Kiefner has been with GRDA since 2004 and served as General Counsel prior to his current position as COO. He obtained his Jurist Doctorate from Oklahoma City University and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

“This is an important step for our organization,” said GRDA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Easley. “Having a member of the senior management team obtain this certification enforces our commitment to GRDA System Operators and the reliable operation of the electric grid in North America.”

In addition to the Reliability Coordinator, there are certifications as a Transmission Operator, Balance & Interchange Operator or Transmission/Balance & Interchange combination. All GRDA System Operators possess one of these NERC certifications. System operators are responsible for the real-time operation of the interconnected Bulk Electric System and complying with NERC standards.

The GRDA System Operations Department is located at the GRDA Energy Control Center (ECC), atop Robert S. Kerr Dam near Locust Grove, Oklahoma. Home to a state-of-the-art system control room, the ECC was recently expanded and remodeled to meet new requirements from both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and NERC.

NERC is the federal organization with legal authority to enforce reliability standards with all user, owners and operators of the bulk power system in the United States. GRDA operates over 1,200 miles of high-voltage electric transmission lines and associated energy delivery components in its portion of the electric power grid in Northeast Oklahoma.

Headquartered in Vinita, Oklahoma, GRDA, a non-appropriated state agency, is funded by revenues from the sale of electricity and water. GRDA generates, transmits and sells electricity to Oklahoma municipalities, electric cooperatives and industrial customers, as well as off-system customers across a four-state region.