People brave the cold on the ETSU campus. Ron Campbell/Johnson City Press
KNOXVILLE — Frigid conditions caused the Tennessee Valley Authority to set a record for winter electrical demand this morning. As promised, however, the TVA lifted its request for reduced consumption.
In a news release, the TVA said an estimated 33,345 megawatts were used Friday when the average temperature across the region hovered at 7 degrees. This was TVA’s highest demand for electricity since the summer of 2007 and third-highest in TVA history. The previous winter record was 32,572 megawatts set on Jan. 16, 2009.
On Thursday, the TVA asked consumers to curb their electrical use through this afternoon to avoid stress on the electrical grid.
TVA said meeting the record demand required the combined efforts of TVA’s employees and generating facilities, coordination with the agency's 155 local power companies and large industrial customers, and the cooperation of businesses and households to conserve.
Relying on its diversified electric generating sources, TVA received 29 percent of its power from coal-fired plants, 21 percent from nuclear plants, 24 percent from natural gas plants, 12 percent from hydroelectric dams, 2 percent from wind farms and 12 percent from power market purchases.
"For the second time this month, TVA sincerely thanks everyone across the seven-state TVA service area for conserving energy and helping us provide a safe, reliable flow of electricity during this latest cold wave," said Tim Ponseti, vice president of TVA Transmission Operations and Power Supply. "The effort made by our employees and customers during this round of bitterly cold weather exemplifies the teamwork and skill required to provide low-cost, reliable power.”
Public appeals to conserve energy are now lifted, though consumers can always find benefits from energy-saving information on TVA's EnergyRight Solutions website at http://www.energyright.com and from local power companies.
With more cold weather on the way next week, TVA is continuing its internal Conservative Operations Alert, delaying non-emergency maintenance activities at its generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply.
TVA’s all-time peak demand record remains 33,482 megawatts, set on Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.