The Tennessee Valley Authority is once again preparing for colder-than-normal temperatures that will create greater demands on its electric system. Consumers can be preparing, 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 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 three 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 on Jan. 7, 2014.
TVA's all-time record winter demand was set on Jan. 16, 2009, at 32,572 megawatts when temperatures across the Tennessee Valley averaged nine degrees. The all-time record demand on the TVA power system was 33,482 megawatts on Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.