East Tennesseans are still waiting for answers after the Tennessee Valley Authority had to implement rolling blackouts over the Christmas weekend. The blackouts came amid the worst freeze the state had seen in years and left several thousand without power.
Representative Tim Burchett sent a letter to Jeffery Lyash, TVA CEO, Tuesday, asking for answers.
Burchett says “TVA appears to have been caught completely flat-footed, which resulted in service disruption for thousands of Tennesseans and other residents within the TVA service area, I hope you agree that this is unacceptable.”
In a later update Wednesday, TVA officials sent out a statement about the incident.
“We at TVA take full responsibility for the impact we had on our customers. We never want to impact anyone’s energy at any time. This is not the way we want to serve our communities and customers.
We are conducting a thorough review of what occurred and why. We are committed to sharing these lessons learned and – more importantly – the corrective actions we take in the weeks ahead to ensure we are prepared to manage significant events in the future.
With sustained record-breaking cold temperatures and high winds, winter storm “Elliott” strained power grids across the nation late last week. During a 24-hour period on December 23rd, TVA supplied more power than at any other time in its nearly 90-year history. This event also produced the highest winter power peak in TVA history.
It was also the first time in TVA’s 90-year history that we’ve had to direct targeted load curtailments due to extreme power demand.
On two occasions during a 24-hour period, TVA directed local power companies to reduce power consumption. On December 23rd, a 5 percent system-wide power consumption reduction for two hours and 15 minutes and on December 24th, a system-wide power consumption reduction in 5-10 percent curtailments for 5 hours and 40 minutes. Most of the local power companies were able to target power reductions that impacted customers for relatively short durations. We greatly appreciate their partnership and support throughout this event.
We will learn from this unprecedented event and are committed to providing you with the reliable service you expect and deserve.