Grand River Chouteau plant recovering from lightning strike, fire

The Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA) reported July 5 that its Chouteau power plant in Oklahoma was offline after a lightning strike caused a fire in Unit 2 a few days earlier.

“A large fire inside the Unit 2 generator area at the Grand River Energy Center on Friday night (July 1) caused extensive damage to a piece of equipment that has been producing reliable and abundant electricity since the early 1980s,” GRDA said in an online statement.

“That lightning was part of a storm that rolled through the plant site, east of Chouteau, around 7PM,” GRDA said. Grand River praised the assistance that it received from fire departments as far away as Tulsa.

Employees were evacuated from the area safely and no injuries were reported, GRDA said.

No electricity customers experienced outages due to the fire. “Because of emergency contingencies and plans already in place, GRDA’s other generating resources and our membership in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), customer electricity needs are still being met,” GRDA said.

Choteau, located in Mayes County, Oklahoma, has a generating capacity of more than 1,000 MW. Unit 2 is listed with a generating capacity of 176 MW.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at