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Changes From Last December Helped Weather Power Demand

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Changes From Last December Helped Weather Power Demand

TVA weathered an all-time high in peak power demand during this week’s winter storm thanks to a year of preparations and changes.

Cookeville Energy Department Director Carl Haney said both TVA and Cookeville Energy were prepared for the 34,000 megawatt demand number. He said Cookeville avoided major outages and rolling blackouts, even with higher demand than last December’s storm.

“From our end here locally, we just want to make sure we’re prepared with everything,” Haney said. “Equipment’s ready. Through the year, we do tree-trimming and stuff which really helps when you start getting winter weather, especially when it’s ice or heavy snows.”

Haney said after difficulty managing power during the Christmas, 2022 storm, TVA made the improvements needed to prevent those issues. Haney said Cookeville keeps substations below 60 percent capacity. He said as long as TVA can keep providing power, the city should remain unaffected.

“They had made some significant improvements, both on adding some generation, but also on winterizing the existing generation they already had, so we thought it went really well,” Haney said.

Haney said as Cookeville’s population grows, winter weather like this would be difficult to manage without year-long processes in place to manage severe weather. He said the department is constantly monitoring areas of high usage and planning how to deal with that demand, especially with potential spikes caused by a storm like this one. Even still, small outages are sometimes impossible to avoid.

“We had some minor just isolated stuff,” Haney said. “You still have, obviously, some issues, whether it’s animals or trees or what, but we had a few isolated ones, but that’s all.”


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