NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With this week’s extreme heat, power companies are seeing record demand. In some areas of the country, they worry about having enough power to get them through the summer.
On Monday, Tennessee set a record for the amount of power used in June.
“They’re not unusual temperatures for summer in the Tennessee Valley, but it is a little bit unusual to see them in the middle part of June. These usually come in a July, August timeframe,” Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Jim Hopson said.
Some parts of the country fear blackouts from the expected increase in demand in the coming months.
“Anytime that you’ve got a large area of extreme temperatures, whether that’s heat or cold, that really is impacting a large part of the country, that does place a strain on the overall power system,” Hopson said.
TVA is also monitoring and planning for increased demand this summer, however, they believe they can stay ahead of the need.
“Forty percent of the energy in our area comes from nuclear power, which is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We get another 13-15% of our power from hydroelectric, the original renewable power that TVA was founded on back in 1933,” Hopson said. “We get more from solar and wind and we also use natural gas and coal to help fill in the gaps when we have these very high demand days.”
Nashville Electric Service is also taking steps.
“We do all sorts of load-flow analysis and upgrades to the system throughout the year to plan for these heavy use times. Also, another thing we do, we postpone a lot of our maintenance activities,” said Jack Baxter, NES Vice President of Power System Operations.
At home, customers are encouraged to turn up their thermostat, even a degree or two, during the hottest times of the day. Not only will this help bring down your bills, but it can also help prevent problems with our entire power system.
“Anytime we can lower the power demand, especially during peak periods, it helps keep the system reliable. TVA has one of the most reliable transmission systems in the country. In fact, we’ve had 99.999% reliability for the last 21 years straight,” Hopson said. “But at the same time, every little bit helps.”
If you’re interested in lowering your bill, you can request an energy audit with the TVA. They’ll send a staff member to your home to go through and look for ways you can reduce your energy consumption.
Don’t forget to take the power and reliability of the WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times by downloading the News 2 Storm Tracker app.