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TVA meeting power demand during cold weather

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Plunging temperatures across the Tennessee Valley region have caused the highest demand for electricity so far this winter.

“This is the first significant demand period we’ve seen this season,” said TVA Vice President of Transmission and Reliability Bob Dalrymple. “Through our nuclear, hydro, fossil and combustion turbine generation fleet and purchased power arrangements, TVA has a diverse portfolio of resources available to reliably meet the need. TVA resources and transmission system have performed extremely well during these challenging conditions.”

TVA met a demand of more than 31,300 megawatts on the morning of Jan. 6. Demand is expected to remain high through Monday, Jan. 11. The TVA system has a winter capacity of more than 36,000 megawatts of available power and at least 5,000 megawatts of additional reserve power daily.

The all-time record winter demand was set on Jan. 16, 2009, at 32,572 megawatts when temperatures across the Tennessee Valley region 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.

TVA is working to reduce peak demand and improve energy efficiency through a number of programs such as TVA’s Home Energy e-Valuation, which will be available in 74 markets this year. TVA is also expanding its Efficiency Advice and Incentives program to help commercial customers reduce their energy use. The goal is to reduce growth in peak demand by up to 1,400 megawatts by 2012, thereby reducing the need for TVA to build more new power plants, which could affect future rates.

TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 157 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also creates economic development opportunities and manages the Tennessee River and its tributaries to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.


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