KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Due to the high demand for electricity, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is beginning rolling blackouts for some towns, statements from multiple utility companies said.
TVA said around 12:30 p.m. that the extremely cold temperatures across the region are creating unprecedented demands on the power system. According to the TVA, businesses and the public are asked to help by immediately reducing electric power us “as much as possible without sacrificing safety.” In addition, TVA said that it along with local power companies are taking proactive steps to temporarily reduce power supplies to certain local areas, which may create brief, intermittent power outages to homes and businesses.
The Knoxville Utility Board said that it is being required to reduce power load because of extreme demand on the electric system and that customers are likely to experience temporary outages until TVA provides more information. As of 1 p.m., a little under 12,000 KUB customers were without power according to the board’s outage map. An additional tweet from KUB said it is striving to keep rolling outages to 15 minutes and is rotating outages across the service area until TVA lifts the requirement.
Appalachian Electric Cooperative also shared that the TVA was beginning 15-minute rolling blackouts on the circuits for Rutledge, Oak Grove, Jefferson City, and Piedmont. The cooperative also said that the blackouts will not affect critical loads, such as hospitals, but they would continue the blackouts as long as the TVA requests it.
According to the release from Oak Ridgethe blackouts will only impact about 2% of Oak Ridge Electric Customers and last for about 30 minutes, and the blackouts will continue across the Tennessee Valley. Around 1 p.m., a spokesperson for the City of Oak Ridge said that the rolling blackouts for Oak Ridge had been terminated by the TVA.
Sevier County EMA also released that that Sevier County Electric System will be conducting the rolling blackouts as well.
“As of this morning, temperatures are averaging in the single digits across the entire region, pushing power demand past 30,000 MW. We expect power demand to remain near this level through Saturday.” The release said.
“Please stay tuned for updated information. Today we are in continuous contact with TVA and our dispatch team. We will continue to update you as things progress.” AEC said.
According to the city, an update will be issued once the blackouts are over and more information is available, and weather and outage information will continue to be posted to the City’s social media channels.
Just after noon, Lenoir City Utility Board also announced the implementation of 15-minute rolling blackouts as mandated by TVA.
The City of McMinnvillein Warren County, also shared that hourly 15-minute rolling blackouts would begin around 10:40 a.m. until the TVA directed otherwise. According to the city, McMinnville Electric System will be conducting the rollouts under the direction of TVA as “The electric grid is under abnormally high stress due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Earlier today, TVA asked people across East Tennessee to take a steps to reduce their power usage.
EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated with new information.
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