With the temperature in the single digits, demand for electricity is expected to exceed record levels.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is asking all electric power consumers, including residential, commercial and industrial customers, to voluntarily reduce their use of electricity until tomorrow afternoon.
TVA Spokesman Scott Brooks says demand is expected to peak Thursday night at 31,000 megawatts and Friday morning at 33,000 megawatts.
“The peak demand was about 32,500 megawatts and that was in 2009, so if we get to the 33,000 level, which we see a potential for, it would be a new record," said Brooks. "Every time it goes below 20 degrees, with every degree below we have another 400 megawatts of electricity needed.”
On January 7th, Murray State University shut off power to its main campus as a result of its interrupt-able service contract with the TVA to reduce overall demand. Brooks says with demand now reaching peak levels, that might occur again.
“We put out the word to most of our contracts, which we have several hundred around the valley, that we may have to do that again between now and tomorrow," said Brooks. "But we have not made any decisions as to if we’ll have to do that just yet.”
The campus sustained some damage to plumbing and HVAC systems when a generator failed to operate correctly during the power outage.
The TVA is asking customers to turn down the thermostat to 68 degrees, put off using dishwashers and dryers and unplug electronics appliances.