The Electricity Grid Was “Stable,” According To Tva, Despite The Recent Frigid Storm


Alabama’s HUNTSVILLE (WHNT) — Following an arctic storm last week that brought ice and extremely cold temperatures to the area, North Alabama has finally begun to thaw. Many individuals were forced to stay indoors with their heat turned up and consume a lot of electricity in order to be warm and entertained due to the cold air.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) claims that it also resulted in a record-breaking week.

According to TVA Spokesperson Clarissa McClain, “last week we experienced some extremely cold temperatures, single-digit temperatures, and that really did cause a lot of power usage and it caused the demand to go up significantly for TVA’s system.”

Three historical records for TVA usage were broken between January 15, 2024, and January 21, 2024, according to preliminary reports.

  • TVA reached its highest height ever on Wednesday, January 17, 2024. At 8:00 am, preliminary data indicates 34,524 megawatts.
  • At 8:00 am on Sunday, January 21, 2024, TVA recorded 34,284 megawatts, the highest recorded peak on a weekend day and the second-highest peak in TVA history.
  • In the week of January 15–21, 2024, TVA delivered the most power in a single week ever. It provided 4,790 GWh of electricity. This was the highest since an ice and snow storm that pounded most of the United States in January 2010 set the previous record.
  • McClain stated, “We were able to meet that peak demand” in spite of shattering multiple records and placing a significant strain on the system.

McClain stated that the TVA has made numerous system upgrades since the winter weather incident in 2022 that caused power outages throughout the Southeast. This, according to her, is what kept the grid stable.

“We think that’s because of the lessons we learned from winter storm Elliott, the enhancements we’ve made, the investments we’ve made to make sure our fleet of generators can remain dependable, and the addition of new generation—nearly 1500 megawatts since last year.”

News 19 has persisted in providing viewers with firsthand footage of some of the adjustments TVA has undertaken. We took a tour of the Colbert County Combustion Turbine Plant in December to find out more about the upgrades made to the system to prevent weather-related problems, including the recently installed Heat Trace equipment.

According to TVA, such advancements have made a difference and will continue to do so in the case of cold weather.

“It was encouraging to see the results of those efforts during the most recent winter storm, and I think it will serve as motivation to keep up the good work going forward,” McClain stated.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2024, the Tennessee Valley Authority achieved its highest-ever usage peak. The TVA requested voluntary energy use reductions from its consumers and local utility customers on Tuesday, January 16th, the evening before.

According to McClain, the TVA is appreciative of the public’s contribution to reducing energy consumption.

Additionally, I just want to stress how crucial it is that during that period, every community practice electricity conservation. Even at those high levels, we firmly think that TVA was able to meet demand thanks to everyone’s combined efforts,” McClain stated.

The Tennessee Valley Authority stated that it intends to maintain a robust grid throughout the winter.

“TVA is all about making sure we’re learning new things and improving continuously. We are appreciative that we were able to collaborate with our neighborhood power providers and that the public met us halfway by cutting back on their use, but we’ll keep growing and learning from this, McClain added.

“We have already committed an additional $120 million in funding with the sole goal of ensuring the dependability of our fleet going forward. Therefore, even if we were able to satisfy demand at those record levels, those efforts to learn and grow will not stop, McClain added.

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