TVA expects high electricity demand during cold wave

Tennessee Valley Authority officials expect plunging temperatures from an arctic cold wave moving across the region will produce high demand for electricity.
Jan 7, 2014

Tennessee Valley Authority officials expect plunging temperatures from an arctic cold wave moving across the region will produce high demand for electricity.

TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time, officials said Monday.

“TVA has been monitoring and carefully preparing for this blast of potentially record-cold weather since last week,” TVA Chief Operating Officer Chip Pardee said. “We have taken proactive measures so the system remains robust and reliable for our customers and power users across the valley.”

TVA issued an internal “conservative operations alert” on Friday, indefinitely suspending all non-essential maintenance activities to minimize risk of power interruptions on TVA’s transmission system and generation facilities.

Late Sunday, TVA also initiated a “power supply alert,” a precautionary declaration that an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit or transmission system interchange could reduce TVA’s power supply reserves.

TVA is working with the region’s 155 local power companies and TVA’s directly served industrial customers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the 9 million residents of the valley. Electric demand is expected to be high on Monday and Tuesday, but below record levels.

Consumers can find immediate and long-term suggestions on how to reduce their energy usage and lower their power bills at TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website and programs offered in collaboration with local power companies.

With regional temperatures forecast to be among the coldest in 20 years, TVA electricity demand is expected to exceed 31,000 megawatts on Monday evening and reach nearly 32,000 megawatts on Tuesday evening.

TVA’s all-time record winter demand was set on Jan. 16, 2009, at 32,572 megawatts when temperatures across the Tennessee Valley averaged 9 degrees. The all-time record demand on the TVA power system was 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the U.S. 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.

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