EPB Sets Record For Power Demand On Bitterly Cold Day; TVA Has 2nd-Highest Demand

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

EPB set a new record for electric power demand at 9 a.m. Tuesday when the downtown Chattanooga temperature was 7 degrees. 

System load peaked at 1,327 megawatts, shattering the old record of 1,302 megawatts set in August, 2007. 

As of midday, the number and duration of power outages continues to decrease, with a little more than 100 customers out. 

Since temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Wednesday afternoon, it is possible scattered, brief outages may occur. 

Officials said, "EPB wants to thank all of our customers for their understanding and patience, and their efforts to conserve power when TVA issued their emergency conservation plan for a brief time this morning.The Tennessee Valley Authority power system passed a critical demand period early Tuesday from the bitter cold wave and electricity use is coming down." 

Officials said they appreciate all the efforts by local power companies to reduce voltage, along with any appeals for power conservation locally during the heaviest demand period Tuesday morning.

 The Tennessee Valley Authority power system met near-record electricity demand as arctic air swept across the Valley, culminating with single-digit temperatures Tuesday morning.

“My sincere thanks to everyone across the TVA Valley for helping keep the lights on and our customers informed throughout this extreme winter event,” said Tim Ponseti, vice president of TVA Transmission Operations and Power Supply.

“There was extraordinary effort and great teamwork under challenging and fast changing circumstances,” he said. “Meeting back-to-back peak loads over 31,500 megawatts on Monday night and Tuesday morning, coupled with extremely low temperatures, took a tremendous amount of preparation, coordination and quick action.”

Ponseti said TVA appreciated the efforts of local power companies to reduce voltage, along with local appeals for power conservation. Those appeals are now lifted, though consumers can always find benefits from energy-saving information on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website athttp://www.energyright.com and from local power companies.

TVA’s power system reached a preliminary peak power demand of 32,490 megawatts at 8 a.m. EST on Tuesday with the Tennessee Valley’s average temperature at 4 degrees, a slight upward adjustment from early calculations.

This is the second highest winter power peak in TVA history and the lowest average temperature since a 3-degree average on Feb. 5, 1996. Temperatures around the Valley at the time had Nashville and Knoxville at 1 degree, Chattanooga and Huntsville at 5 degrees, and Memphis at 9 degrees.

TVA’s peak demand on Monday was 31,599 megawatts, set at 8 p.m. ESTwith Valley temperatures averaging 10 degrees. Tennessee Valley homes and businesses used the third most electricity in a 24-hour period in TVA history on Monday ? 678 gigawatt-hours.

Ponseti said directly served customers of TVA and customers of local power companies on interruptible power contracts provided more than 1,000 megawatts of additional capacity to TVA when needed most by curbing their power use for short periods. Without their efforts, TVA’s peak electricity demand could have set all-time records, he said.

TVA’s record winter demand is 32,572 megawatts, set on Jan. 16, 2009, when temperatures averaged 9 degrees, and TVA’s all-time record is 33,482 megawatts, set on Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.

TVA expects the cold weather to moderate with lows in the mid-teens and highs in the low 40s on Wednesday, and temperatures returning to highs in the 50s by Friday. TVA ended an in-house power conservation effort on Tuesday, though TVA remains in a “power supply alert” mode as a precaution until power reserves are fully restored.

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