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UPDATE: TVA, JCPB ask consumers to reduce electrical consumption as demand peaks from cold temps

January 23rd, 2014 4:06 pm by Gary B. Gray

UPDATE: TVA, JCPB ask consumers to reduce electrical consumption as demand peaks from cold temps

(Photo by Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)


Bone-chilling temperatures and increased demand prompted a request Thursday by the Tennessee Valley Authority and Johnson City Power Board for residential, commercial and industrial electricity customers to voluntarily curtail usage through Friday afternoon. 


TVA notified JCPB that it was enacting “step 20” of its Emergency Load Curtailment Program. This procedural plan of action includes an appeal to all JCPB customers to immediately defer any non-essential electricity usage as much as comfortably possible until the plan has been retracted.


Customers are being asked to refrain from using hot water from electric water heaters, washing clothes and dishes, and using any non-essential lights and appliances. Electric heat pump thermostats should also be lowered by one to three degrees during this time when possible.


JCPB, which serves over 76,000 customers within Washington, Sullivan, Carter and Greene counties, also plans to implement a voltage reduction plan and appeal to its larger commercial and industrial customers to minimize usage within their respective facilities. 


“When it’s below 20 degrees, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed — that’s almost as much as one of our larger hydroelectric dams,” Tim Ponseti, TVA Transmission Operations and Power Supply vice president, said Thursday in a press release. “Setting your thermostat two to three degrees below normal [Thursday and Friday] can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time.”


All of TVA’s available generating resources are being used to meet the peak power demand, including coal, hydroelectric and nuclear plants. The core electric system remains secure and stable at this time, but reductions in electricity use can help ensure continued services throughout the system’s seven-state territory.  


Temperatures in the Tri-Cities tonight were forecast to fall between 10 degrees and minus 5 degrees, with wind chill factors in some higher elevations expected to drop readings to 15 below, according to the National Weather Service in Morristown.  


Friday's highs are expected to be in the 20s with the low dipping to 6 degrees. High temperatures slowly climb back to the 30s and 40s Saturday and Sunday with lows ranging from 10 to 20 degrees, according the NWS.


“I have worked at the power board for almost 10 years,” said JT McFadden, JCPB communications specialist.  “These temperatures are unprecedented during my tenure here. But this isn’t about us having power; it’s an issue of TVA having the capacity to generate power. TVA is projecting that they could run short, and they always are trying to match the demand with supply as closely as possible.” 


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. 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.


Peak power demand is expected to occur tonight when regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits and electricity demand is projected to exceed 31,000 megawatts. Another peak demand will occur Friday morning when electric loads are expected to peak around 33,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7.


Extremely cold weather also is expected through early next week, and the prolonged cold period will result in higher electricity use than experienced in early January. Consumers can reduce their power consumption and lower their power bills by:


* Turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent.


* Postponing using electric appliances, such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.


* Turning off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.


Additional tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website.

———

Earlier report posted at 11:16 a.m.:

This week's cold temperatures are straining the electrical grid, prompting the Tennessee Valley Authority to seek voluntary reductions in consumption through Friday afternoon.

The following is a news release from TVA:


Frigid temperatures are causing high demand for electricity across the Southeastern United States. As a result, the Tennessee Valley Authority is asking all electric power consumers, including residential, commercial and industrial customers, to voluntarily reduce their use of electricity until Friday afternoon.


Any reductions in electricity use can help ensure a continued supply of power to essential services throughout TVA’s seven-state service territory and avoid interruptions of service. All available generating resources are being used to meet the peak power demand.


TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time.


“When it’s below 20 degrees, each time the temperature drops one degree another 400 megawatts of electricity is needed. That’s almost as much as one of our larger hydroelectric dams,” said Tim Ponseti, vice president of TVA Transmission Operations and Power Supply. “Setting your thermostat two to three degrees below normal this evening and Friday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time.”


Today’s peak power demand is expected to occur this evening when regional temperatures are forecast to drop into single digits and electricity demand is projected to exceed 31,000 megawatts. Another peak demand will occur Friday morning when electric loads are expected to peak around 33,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just below 32,500 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7, 2014.


Extremely cold weather is expected through early next week. This prolonged cold period will result in higher electricity use than experienced in early January. Consumers can reduce their power consumption and lower their power bills by:



  • Turning down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in a savings of up to 3 percent.

  • Postpone using electric appliances, such as dishwashers, dryers and cooking equipment.

  • Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.

     


Additional tips for saving on your power bill and reducing electric demand can be found on TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions website.


TVA and the region’s 155 local power companies also are cutting back power use in their facilities by lowering thermostats, reducing lighting and taking other steps to reduce electricity consumption.


  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. 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.


  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.


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