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TVA Trims Peak Power Demand During Summer Heat Wave


Tennessee Valley AuthorityKnoxville, TN – More than 372 businesses across the Tennessee Valley Authority service area reduced their electricity use this summer as part of a program that is helping TVA and all consumers save energy and money.

TVA, regional power distributors and energy management contractor EnerNOC worked together to lower peak power demand during the hottest days of this summer’s heat wave.

TVA has contracted with EnerNOC since 2008 to coordinate pre-arranged peak load reduction agreements, known as demand response, with businesses in the region.

The program is showing results. On July 29th and August 3rd, two of this summer’s hottest and highest demand days, the EnerNOC contract delivered 183 megawatts and 170 megawatts of peak power savings, respectively. That is enough each day to serve about 100,000 homes.

“TVA wants to thank all the participating customers and power distributors for making this program successful this summer,” said Bob Balzar, TVA vice president for Energy Efficiency and Demand Response. “Their participation in this program helped keep costs down for all power users in the TVA region.”

This summer has been one of the region’s hottest in decades. August 4th was the warmest overall day in the TVA service region in 50 years, based on overnight lows and afternoon highs in Chattanooga, Huntsville, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville. The heat index of 111 degrees that afternoon in Nashville is a record. Peak load for that day was 31,777 megawatts — the highest summer peak since August 24th, 2007, and the 23rd highest of all time.

Balzar said much of a utility’s infrastructure costs are spent to meet demand peaks that usually only occur during extremely cold mornings or hot afternoons when residential consumers use more heating, cooling, lights, water heaters and other appliances.

Reducing peaks through demand response can lower customers’ energy costs; reduce utilities’ emissions; help TVA avoid the need to build more power plants or buy extra power from more expensive sources; and boost local economic development, Balzar said.

“Our peak reduction performance during this summer’s heat wave is a good example of how demand response is becoming a very reliable resource that utilities can count on during times of peak demand,” Balzar said.

TVA has expanded its EnerNOC contract to provide 560 megawatts of peak reduction through demand response. Currently, customers served by 99 local power distributors are participating in TVA’s demand response management program.

For the past year, EnerNOC has worked with TVA, distributors and business customers to find ways to reduce use of electricity upon request. The program includes payments to customers and installation of advanced technologies, such as sophisticated thermostats, meters and other systems. 

TVA recently announced a renewed vision to lead the Southeast in energy efficiency and demand response by 2020. The effort will be guided by TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan, a broad assessment of the utility’s options for fulfilling its mission over the next 20 years.

About The Tennessee Valley Authority

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 33,700 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.




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