Tennessee Valley Authority said they hit a new record in power usage Wednesday.
TVA officials told WAAY 31 the artic blast and deep freeze that hovered over the Tennessee Valley for 6 days has put stress on local utility companies well as their overall system.
After speaking with officials about their voluntary request for people to scale back on power, TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said their current system can absolutely handle the Toyota-Mazda plant once built.
“Of course anytime you have extremely cold weather that we’ve seen over the last few days, that dramatically drives up the energy demand and we’ve seen that,” Hopson said.
In fact, Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Jim Hopson said Wednesday was the highest use of energy in the history of TVA at 706 million kilowatts. According to Hopson, that’s enough to light up the city of Las Vegas for 88 days straight.
“While TVA has sufficient power to supply all of this demand, if were really stressing out the power system, not only TVA transmission system, but your local power company’s distribution system, that can lead to localize problems. We want to avoid that,” Hopson explained.
According to city leaders, Toyota-Mazda is expected to be a direct TVA client like Redstone Arsenal and other large facilities, which get their juice directly from TVA, so it will have minimal impact on you at home.
Naturally some may be wondering, if we’re already putting stress on the system, how does TVA plan to power up the new 2,400 acres Toyota-Mazda Plant coming to Huntsville?
“As part of TVA certification of the mega site there in Huntsville, we constructed a 500,000-volt substation on one corner of that land…obviously there may need to be some small interconnections kind of things, but there should not be significant construction activity needed to get power to that mega site. That was part of one of the reasons why we were able to certify it as a mega site,” Hopson said.
He says consider this, TVA used about 32,000 megawatts to keep our region warm Wednesday morning. They estimate Mazda Plant would only use a fraction of that as their specs may only require 50-75 megawatts.