KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and power companies across the region hit a June record demand for power on Monday, June 13. It’s something TVA Spokesperson Jim Hopson said TVA “successfully met.”
The power system provided 31,311 megawatts of energy at 6 p.m. Monday night, an all-time record for June. To break that down, one megawatt equals the energy produced by 10 automobile engines.
“That’s an enormous amount of energy, but because of the resiliency of our system and the hard work of literally thousands, not only at TVA but local power companies across the region, we were able to successfully supply that amount of power even under these kinds of extreme conditions,” Hopson explained.
The previous record for June was 31,098 megawatts on June 29, 2012.
TVA and local power companies anticipate these types of loads this time of year, Hopson said.
“We start preparing months and indeed years in advance investing in the generation resources necessary to create electricity as well as the transmission and distribution of resources needed to get it to your home and business,” Hopson said.
People may have concerns, but Hopson said, “We have sufficient power to meet the needs of people who count on us every single day.”
The source of the power is set to change. The TVA Bull Run Fossil Plant is set to close by the end of 2023.
“TVA is modernizing its entire system bringing new generation facilities online. We just recently completed the first new nuclear facility in the United States at Watts Bar,” Hopson said.
That is nearly 12,000 megawatts of carbon-free power, according to Hopson. He explained TVA is also adding nearly 10,000 megawatts of solar energy between now and 2035.
He added that a little more than 40% of our power comes from nuclear energy.
Hydroelectric energy provides another 12-15% of our energy. About 60% of the energy TVA currently provides comes from carbon-free sources.
“Our expectation is to retire all of our coal units between now and 2035,” Hopson said, “And it will be replaced with a combination of renewable energy, battery resources and other types of innovative new technology that will allow us to maintain the reliability, but cleaner and more modern in the process.”
As the largest public power system in the United States, Hopkins said reliability is something they want to keep going. “We’ve had 99.999% reliability on our system for the last 21 straight years,” he said.
TVA serves 10 million people and 700,000 businesses across seven states.
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