TVA’s Call to Local Power Companies to Reduce Power Demand During Extreme Cold


Extreme cold weather created an unprecedented demand for energy across Tennessee this morning. Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative’s power supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority, contacted us and other power providers yesterday morning and on Christmas Eve asking us to reduce our system’s energy demand by 5 to 10 percent. In some cases, this resulted in power interruptions for our consumers. Reducing energy demand in a systematic, planned way helps to keep the power grid stable and prevents longer, widespread power outages. 

TVA and Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) follow a detailed plan to reduce energy consumption during periods of high demand. Under most circumstances, we are able to do so without having to interrupt power to our consumers. That action was unfortunately required this morning. 

We recognize that power interruptions are inconvenient, especially during cold weather and the holiday season. FLEC apologizes to those who experienced outages. We are working with TVA to better understand what led to this morning’s power interruptions, and we will share more information with you as it becomes available. As of 11:30 a.m. this morning, all FLEC systems are back to normal.

FLEC is a consumer-owned cooperative that provides safe, reliable and affordable energy to parts of Blount, Loudon, and Monroe Counties in east Tennessee.


TVA, Local Power Companies Manage Record-Setting Power Demand

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Record-setting temperatures across the region continue to put intense pressure on the power system. The Tennessee Valley Authority and local power companies working around the clock in difficult conditions to meet this extreme demand.

On Saturday morning, December 24, TVA directed local power companies to implement planned, short duration, intermittent power interruptions to maintain system reliably. This action is similar to steps that TVA and local power companies took on Friday, December 23, to help ensure power system reliability. This measure is expected to be temporary until the highest peak power demands have been met.

During the 24-hours of December 23, TVA supplied more energy than at any other time in its history740 gigawatt-hours, or 740 million kilowatt-hours.  The cold also produced a winter record for peak power demand of 33,425 megawatts at 7 p.m. CT when the regionwide average temperature was 9 degrees.

The strong partnership between TVA, local power companies and industrial customers, as well as the individual contributions of residents to conserve energy, continues to make a difference. The public is asked to maintain their conservation efforts over the next 36 hours using a few simple steps:

  • Lower thermostats by just one or two degrees – public safety is of utmost importance during dangerously cold weather, so don’t make big adjustments but every degree can help save on future power bills,
  • Delay doing laundry or running a dishwasher until the warmest part of the day, and turn off unnecessary lights and electronics, and
  • When the sun is out, open window coverings on the sunny side of homes and offices, but close window coverings at night and when the sun isn’t brightly shining.

“We appreciate the work of so many local power companies, businesses and residents to assist TVA in managing the impacts of this extraordinary weather event,” said Don Moul, TVA’s chief operating officer. “We remain committed to working together to manage the demands of this extraordinary weather and still make the holidays safe and warm.”

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