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TVA prepping for first cold spell of 2017

TVA employees are getting ready for the expected cold temperatures and possible snow and ice this weekend to ensure that they’re able to meet the demand for electricity across their service areas.

Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority say they’re projecting a load of over 26,000 megawatts this weekend. The last time they saw a load that high was January 19th, 2016 when temperatures plummeted.

Patrick Walshe, Manager of Operations at the TVA headquarters in Chattanooga says the utility has been prepping equipment and facilities for months in preparation for cold weather.

According to TVA, regardless of season, power-generating units must always be in the optimal condition to provide electricity at a moment’s notice, citing one example of their pumped-storage facility on Raccoon Mountain which can go from generating zero electricity to about 1,600 megawatts in under a minute. That’s enough electricity to power about 650,000 homes.

After a very demanding summer, TVA has not seen the high demand just yet this winter since we’ve experienced relatively mild weather so far, and they’re expecting a moderate winter for now.

Officials with TVA remind the public that they’re no stranger to colder-than-normal ready and they’re ready to go with procedures in place to guarantee the system remains stable and secure.


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