TVA system breaks record during bitter cold

Published 9:23 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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The Tennessee Valley Authority’s system remained reliable and resilient last week as bitter cold, single-digit temperatures drove power demand on the system to record-breaking levels because more electricity was needed to heat homes and businesses.
TVA began preparing to meet this challenge in the aftermath of Winter Storm Elliott. Since then, TVA has invested nearly $123 million and completed 3,400 winter readiness activities to harden the system and enhance reliability and resiliency at coal, gas, and hydro-electric facilities. This year, TVA will invest $120 million above regular funding levels to specifically focus on enhancing the reliability of its generation fleet.
“We started preparing for this winter immediately following Winter Storm Elliott,” said Aaron Melda, TVA Senior Vice President of Power Supply Operations. “We were focused on getting it right for the 10 million customers who depend on the power we provide. Our focus was to make the critical investments needed to meet growing electricity demand while maintaining low rates that will ensure our region’s energy security as we move to a clean energy future.”
To meet the region’s growing power demand, TVA added approximately 1400 megawatts of fast start, new natural gas units, at its Paradise and Colbert plants. An additional 500 megawatts are scheduled to come online when TVA completes additional generation at its Johnsonville plant. TVA announced plans in August to invest $15 billion over the next three years to meet the region’s growth.
The transmission system remained stable and secure throughout the recent winter weather, TVA experienced no fuel-supply challenges, only 3% of the fleet was unavailable during peaks and technicians were able to return units to service within hours on the same day.
TVA and local power companies requested the public conserve power ahead of Wednesday’s record peak and those efforts were helpful.
“We are grateful to our employees, and our local power company partners, who worked around the clock. Because of their work as well as the conservation efforts of our local power companies and all the people across the region, we were able to successfully supply power to keep everyone warm and safe during these extreme winter conditions,” Melda said.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.
TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving 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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