The Tennessee Valley Authority met a record-breaking winter demand for electricity Friday morning with an estimated 33,345 megawatts when the average temperature across the region hovered at 7 degrees.
This would be TVA’s highest demand for electricity since the summer of 2007 and third-highest in TVA history. The previous winter record was 32,572 megawatts set Jan. 16, 2009.
Meeting the record demand required the combined efforts of TVA’s employees and generating facilities, coordination with the Tennessee Valley’s 155 local power companies and large industrial customers, and the cooperation of businesses and households to conserve.
Relying on its diversified electric generating sources, TVA received 29 percent of its power from coal-fired plants, 21 percent from nuclear plants, 24 percent from natural gas plants, 12 percent from hydroelectric dams, 2 percent from wind farms and 12 percent from power market purchases.
“For the second time this month, TVA sincerely thanks everyone across the seven-state TVA service area for conserving energy and helping us provide a safe, reliable flow of electricity during this latest cold wave,” said Tim Ponseti, vice president of TVA transmission operations and power supply. “The effort made by our employees and customers during this round of bitterly cold weather exemplifies the teamwork and skill required to provide low-cost, reliable power.
“Meeting back-to-back peak loads and ensuring uninterrupted power under extreme conditions takes a network of experienced, well-trained people and a community willing to turn down their thermostat a few degrees.”
Public appeals to conserve energy are now lifted, though consumers can always find benefits from energy-saving information on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website at energyright.com and from local power companies.
With more cold weather on the way next week, TVA is continuing its internal Conservative Operations Alert, delaying non-emergency maintenance activities at its generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply.
TVA’s all-time peak demand record remains 33,482 megawatts, set Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.