Murray State on Notice Again as TVA Prepares for High Power Demand as Temperatures Drop

Jan 22, 2014

Credit djshaggy (Flickr Commons)

The Tennessee Valley Authority is preparing once again for high energy demand with single digit lows predicted tonight and tomorrow by issuing an internal Conservative Operation Alert. That alert delays any non-emergency maintenance activities at some of its facilities to reduce risks to the power supply.

TVA expects a high power demand through Friday that could reach 32,000 megawatts. Demand was just above 32,000 megawatts during this month’s polar vortex.

Murray State lost power from TVA during that high demand period due to an interruptible service contract. The campus sustained some damage to plumbing and HVAC systems when a generator failed to operate correctly during the power outage. 

TVA has  notified MSU of a "medium risk of power curtailment."  MSU received the same notice earlier in the month when TVA exercised its option to shut off power on January 6th to clients with interruptible service contracts. MSU spokeswoman Catherine Sivills says the predicted peak usage time is Thursday overnight into Friday morning. 

TVA gives selected clients with interruptible contracts a five minute notice to shutdown power. Sivills says if MSU is notified of a shutdown then the University will issue an all-campus email to notify students, staff and faculty of the impending shutdown. 

Sivills says the generator that failed to operate properly during the first blast of arctic cold has been repaired and that crews have tested the generator in anticipation of a possible shutdown.