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Record day for power

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Last week’s cold snap one for the TVA books

Tennessee Valley residents set a single-day record for electricity use while keeping warm during last week’s arctic cold wave, Tennessee Valley Authority representatives said.

Homes and businesses across TVA’s seven-state region used 703 gigawatt-hours of electricity on Jan. 7, the most ever for a 24-hour, one-day period.

This came one day after TVA had its fourth-highest “energy day” ever — on Jan. 6, with 678 gigawatt-hours.

TVA’s previous record was 701 gigawatt-hours on Jan. 8, 2010.

The Valley’s average temperature on Jan. 7 never got above 21 degrees, and the average was 4 degrees that morning when TVA’s power system experienced its second-highest winter peak power demand in the public utility’s history.

TVA met those energy requirements by working closely with power companies, customers who could conserve electricity on request during high-demand periods and in-house and voluntary conservation efforts.

TVA also relied on its diversified portfolio of electric generating sources.

To meet the 32,460-megawatt peak load on Jan. 7, TVA received 28 percent of its power from coal-fired plants, 21 percent from nuclear plants, 14 percent from combined cycle natural gas plants, 11 percent from hydroelectric dams, 10 percent from conventional gas turbines, 2 percent from wind farms and 13 percent from power market purchases.

With temperatures warming and system demand coming down, TVA lifted power supply and conservative operations alerts at 1 p.m. EST on Jan. 8.

The alerts had been in effect since the previous weekend.

Households, businesses and industry can find ways to save energy and lower their power bills through TVA’s EnergyRight Solutions programs and website in collaboration with area power companies.

TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven Southeastern states.

TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.