NORTH MISSISSIPPI — The Tennessee Valley Authority is once again preparing for colder-than-normal temperatures that will create greater demands on its electric system.
TVA reports its power system “remains secure and stable at this time, and steps are being taken to keep it that way.”
On Monday, TVA issued an internal “Conservative Operation Alert,” which delays any non-emergency maintenance activities at its generation and transmission facilities to minimize risks to the power supply. It is also working with the region’s 155 local power companies and TVA’s directly served industrial customers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity to the 9 million residents of the Valley.
As a further precaution, TVA has initiated a “Power Supply Alert,” which notes that demand could reach a level where an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit or transmission system interchange could reduce TVA’s power supply reserves.
Consumers are also encouraged to take proactive steps that can lower their power bills by reducing their own electricity use.
TVA expects electricity demand to remain high through Friday, potentially reaching as high as 32,000 megawatts. In comparison, demand was just above 32,000 megawatts during the height of the cold wave on Jan. 7.
TVA’s all-time record winter demand was set on Jan. 16, 2009, at 32,572 megawatts when temperatures across the Tennessee Valley 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.
In a related item, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency along with county emergency managers around the state are asking residents to be prepared for some dangerously cold temperatures.
An arctic blast will move into Mississippi tonight, dropping low temperatures in the 20s. The National Weather Service is forecasting even lower temperatures tomorrow and Friday.
Central and north Mississippi could see wind chills into the single digits, with wind chills in the teens as far as the Gulf Coast. There is also a slight possibility of a light wintry mix of snow/ice in the south and west parts of the state tomorrow night, but no accumulation is expected.
MEMA director Robert Latham said, “Please be sure to check on family, friends and neighbors that may need special attention, like seniors and those that have special medical needs. These are potentially dangerous overnight temperatures and we want to make sure everyone is prepared.”