Editors Note: The TVA announced that they have reinstated with rolling blackouts Saturday morning, Dec.24. Click here for the latest on power outages.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Thursday night’s cold front brought snow, ice, and dangerously cold temperatures to Middle Tennessee. It also strained the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) power generation facilities.

TVA directed all utility power distributors in the Tennessee Valley — including Nashville Electric Service (NES) — to drop 5% of their electricity load immediately, officials said.

For the NES service area, which includes Davidson County and surrounding Middle Tennessee counties, NES announced at 11:21 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 23 that it already began its power curtailment.

NES customers were told to expect rotating, intermittent power outages in roughly 10-minute increments every 90 to 120 minutes until the power load is stabilized. 

“TVA’s power generation system is being challenged by the swift-moving cold front that moved into our area overnight. The duration of these dangerously low temperatures also plays a part in system performance,” said Jack Baxter, vice president of operations, NES. “Our ability to proactively manage the grid during this time will help us continue to provide safe and reliable power to Middle Tennessee.” 

As of 1 p.m. Friday, NES is reporting 558,384 customers experiencing outages across its service area.

Meanwhile, the TVA urged businesses and homes to cut back on their electricity as much as possible while still staying safe.

“TVA and local power companies are also proactively taking steps to temporarily reduce power supplies to certain local areas, which may create brief, intermittent power outages to homes and businesses,” the TVA said in a statement. “The entire TVA team is actively working with local power companies and other regional utilities to minimize the duration of this event. We apologize for the inconvenience we know these conditions will cause, especially during a holiday period, but it is a necessary step to prevent far greater power interruptions affecting the entire area.”

Other power companies that worked to curtail power usage at TVA’s request Friday morning included McMinnville Electric System, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative, Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation, Lexington Electric System, Columbia Power & Water Systems, Paris Board of Public Utilities, Benton County Electric System, and the Gallatin Department of Electricity.

The distributors listed above announced early Friday afternoon that TVA halted the mandatory rolling blackouts.

NES also posted on Facebook at 1:46 p.m. “that region-wide power curtailment has stabilized the TVA power grid, which means NES will no longer implement rotating, intermittent power outages for now. This was the first time in history this situation has occurred for NES and TVA, but NES was ready with emergency planning in place.”

However, in the words of a TVA official, “we are no longer in a load curtailment situation, but that could change again at any point.”

Officials said there are several ways you can help cut back on your power usage: 

  • Delay the use of heavy appliances like washing machines, clothes dryers, and dishwashers. 
  • Adjust your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower, as well as bundle up in a cozy sweater, warm socks, or a blanket. 
  • Turn off and unplug appliances when you’re not using them.
  • Switch the ceiling fan direction to clockwise to shift warm air down into the room. You should also turn off ceiling fans when you’re not in that room. 
  • Keep your garage door closed to keep the colder outside air from trickling into your home. 
  • Use exhaust fans sparingly in order to avoid pulling extra warm air out of your home. 
  • Open any curtains or blinds on south-facing windows during the day, which allows natural sunlight to heat your home. 
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. 
  • Set your water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. 

For more energy-saving tips, follow this link.

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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.