Cold ‘heats’ up power demand
by GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Jan 24, 2014 | 1069 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TROY FOSTER takes the cold weather in stride while seated in Johnston Park in downtown Cleveland on Thursday. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
TROY FOSTER takes the cold weather in stride while seated in Johnston Park in downtown Cleveland on Thursday. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
The “deep freeze” continues over most of the country and a sizzling high of around 45 degrees Sunday afternoon is the warmest it should get in this area heading into next week, according to the National Weather Service.

A frigid 5.2 degrees was today’s low temperature recorded just before 8 a.m.

The wind chill at the time was -4 Fahrenheit.

Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel cancelled classes for today due to cold weather and some schools having heating issues, according to Troy Spence, Cleveland-Bradley County Emergency Management Agency director.

Cleveland City Schools were initially placed on a delayed schedule for today, then late Thursday afternoon officials decided to cancel classes altogether.

Tennessee Valley Authority issued a news release and connected with area utilities to alert electric customers that high demand was expected overnight and into this morning.

Volunteer Energy officials reciprocated, asking for power conservation by their customers.

“In anticipation of heavy power demand due to extremely low temperatures Thursday evening and into Friday morning, VEC officials are asking customers to conserve electricity during this period.”

TVA officials gave several tips to help curb the demand which was expected to exceed 31,000 megawatts Thursday evening.

“TVA’s bulk electric system remains secure and stable at this time. When it’s below 20 degrees, each time the temperature drops one degree, another 400 [megawatts] of electricity is needed. That’s almost as much as one of our larger hydroelectric dams,” said Tim Ponsetti, vice president of TVA Transmission and Power Supply.

“Setting your thermostat two to three degrees below normal this evening and Friday morning can really help TVA manage the high power demand during this challenging time,” he explained.

Officials said, “In comparison, the Polar Vortex earlier this month, demanded 32,500 MW of electricity.”

Tips TVA passed to consumers include:

n Turn down the thermostat. Lowering the temperature just one degree can result in savings of up to 3 percent.

n Postpone using electric appliances such as dishwashers, clothes dryers and cooking equipment.

n Turn off nonessential lights, appliances, electronics and other electrical equipment.

The “Power Supply Alert” was issued to minimize the risk demand “could reach a level where an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit, or transmission system interchange, could reduce TVA’s power reserves.”

Jamie Creekmore, Cleveland Utilities customer relations representative, said early this morning no area outages have been reported.

Creekmore said CU’s record was set Jan. 7, when 244.1 megawatts were demanded by 8:15 a.m. Today, 242.5 megawatts were demanded at 8:15 a.m.

Patty Hurley of VEC concurred that areas of Polk, Bradley, Georgetown, Meigs and Charleston also had no block outages reported during the night or this morning.

Hurley said there was one major outage reported in the VEC territory of Jamestown, which is north of Crossville.

TVA peak-demand data was not available by press time today.

Bradley County Fire-Rescue reported a residential fire Thursday. It was initially determined a space heater was being used in the kitchen and caused $50,000 damage.

“Remember the 3-foot rule,” said Spence.

“Place alternative and mobile heat sources at least three feet from any combustible material or furnishings,” he added.

Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Haun said the city of Cleveland was “normal” Thursday and “wheels didn’t have to roll out of the city fire stations.”