TVA says it will ‘learn from this unprecedented event’ after power demand records were set

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Tennessee Valley Authority logo(TVA)
Published: Dec. 26, 2022 at 11:53 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2022 at 4:18 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) experienced an unprecedented demand for energy during the recent bitterly cold winter weather conditions.

According to a TVA spokesperson, three power demand records were set on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24.

  • Highest 24-hour electricity demand supplied in TVA history – Friday, Dec. 23 – 740 gigawatt-hours
  • Highest winter peak power demand – Friday, Dec. 23, 7 p.m. – 33,425 megawatts
  • Highest weekend peak power demand in TVA history – Saturday, December 24, 1 a.m. – 31,756 megawatts

The peak demand of over 33,000 megawatts is the third-highest all-season peak in TVA history.

The spokesperson went on to say TVA’s systems are stable and no other challenges are expected at this time.

A spokesperson for TVA released the following statement about the events that occurred last week:

“We at TVA take full responsibility for the impact we had on our customers. We never want to impact anyone’s energy at any time. This is not the way we want to serve our communities and customers. We are conducting a thorough review of what occurred and why. We are committed to sharing these lessons learned and – more importantly – the corrective actions we take in the weeks ahead to ensure we are prepared to manage significant events in the future.

With sustained record-breaking cold temperatures and high winds, winter storm “Elliott” strained power grids across the nation late last week. During a 24-hour period on Friday, Dec. 23, TVA supplied more power than at any other time in its nearly 90-year history. This event also produced the highest winter power peak in TVA history. It was also the first time in TVA’s 90-year history that we’ve had to direct targeted load curtailments due to extreme power demand.

On two occasions during a 24-hour period, TVA directed local power companies to reduce power consumption. On Friday, Dec. 23, a 5 percent system-wide power consumption reduction for two hours and 15 minutes. And on Saturday, Dec. 24, a system-wide power consumption reduction in 5-10 percent curtailments for 5 hours and 40 minutes.  Most of the local power companies were able to target power reductions that impacted customers for relatively short durations. We greatly appreciate their partnership and support throughout this event.

We will learn from this unprecedented event and are committed to providing you with the reliable service you expect and deserve.”