The temperature will drop down to about 5-degrees on Thursday night in Rutherford County and residents are preparing for the bitter cold weather. Some are stocking up on food so they don’t have to get out and brave the weather other than to go to work and back. Others are hanging blankets in front of doors and windows to keep the heat in. Electric departments throughout Middle Tennessee are also preparing for a surge in power usage as residents crank up their heaters.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is preparing for colder-than-normal temperatures too 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’sEnergyRight 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 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 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.
NOTE: For those who can not afford an extra blanket during these upcoming cold nights and days, call WGNS and we will make sure you have one to stay warm. We have large (new) wool blankets that were donated by a faithful listener. Our number is 893-5373.