OGE Energy Corp. boasts Oklahoma's largest electric utility and a midstream company with 8,000 miles of intrastate gas gathering and transportation pipeline, but CEO Pete Delaney credits OGE's employees for its success.
Delaney said OGE's 3,500 employees, known internally as members, are devoted to “working together toward our common objective of being the industry leader in helping customers, developing our workforce and delivering shareholder value.”
Such drive likely propelled OGE to No. 10 on this year's Oklahoma Inc. list with a 42.2 percent increase in total returns.
OGE reported record earnings in 2010, as the company embarked on an ambitious $1.4 billion growth program.
The company's utility subsidiary, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., currently is in the middle of a $366 million project to update its power grid with smart technology. The company is installing smart meters for about 780,000 customers in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Smart grid technology is expected to help OG&E customers save money if they tailor their electricity use to avoid peak hours, when power is more expensive.
The new system also is expected to significantly lower the company's operational costs. Other additions to the smart grid will make OG&E's power grid more reliable and efficient, the company said.
“Our customers have responded well to smart meter deployment although many of the benefits are yet to come,” Delaney said. “The full benefits will not be realized until we have fully deployed and integrated all of the systems associated with operating a ‘smarter' grid.”
The company expects to finish installing new meters by the end of 2012. More than 440,000 have been installed already.
OGE's other major subsidiary is Enogex LLC.
“Enogex is not as high profile as the utility since its customers for the most part are other businesses as opposed to individuals spread out across the state,” Delaney said. “Enogex plays an important role in the natural gas infrastructure system in Oklahoma as one of the largest gatherers, transporters and processors of natural gas.”
Enogex is an intrastate natural gas pipeline and midstream service provider with more than 50 years in the industry. It operates the 11th largest pipeline network in the country.
“From a financial standpoint, Enogex's earnings growth rate is expected to be higher than the utility's which increases the corporation's overall earnings growth,” Delaney said.
Delaney said he is optimistic about OGE's future, despite a substantial need for continued investment in the electric and natural gas infrastructure in Oklahoma.
“OGE Energy has the financial strength, the operational expertise and the commitment to customers to keep Oklahoma powered for the next 100 years as it has done for the last 109 years,” he said.