KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee Valley Authority is once again preparing for colder-than-normal temperatures that will create greater demands on its electric system. Consumers can prepare, too.
TVA’s power system remains secure and stable at this time, and steps are being taken to keep it that way.
On Monday, TVA issued an internal “conservative operation alert,” which delays any non-emergency maintenance activities at its generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply. It is also 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 Tennessee Valley.
As a further precaution, TVA has initiated a “power supply alert,” which notes that demand could reach a level where an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit or transmission system interchange could reduce TVA’s power supply reserves.
Consumers are also encouraged to take proactive steps that can lower their power bills by reducing their own electricity use. In addition to the tips on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website, one of the simplest ways is turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent on a monthly bill.
TVA expects electricity demand to remain high through Friday, potentially reaching as high as 32,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just above 32,000 megawatts during the height of the cold wave Jan. 7.
TVA’s all-time record winter demand was set 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 U.S. corporate agency 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.