The Cold Winter Drove Up Demand For Power, But TVA Is Still Shuttering Some Coal Plants

A computer screen inside a TVA control room in Chattanooga shows temperatures around Tennessee on the morning of January 24. The agency saw demand for 33,345 megawatts of power that morning, a new record. Image: Tennessee Valley Authority.

A computer screen inside a TVA control room in Chattanooga shows temperatures around Tennessee on the morning of January 24. The agency saw demand for 33,345 megawatts of power that morning, a new record. Image: Tennessee Valley Authority.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it will likely press on with its plans to shut down several power generators, even though freezing temperatures in January led to record demand.

As temperatures dropped in Tennessee and surrounding states, homes and businesses turned up their thermostats, which led TVA breaking records for electricity use. TVA later touted its reliability on twitter:

The agency has said long-term demand is on the decline, and it’s shutting down eight coal-fired generators as a result. CEO Bill Johnson says TVA will take another look at its long-range forecast, but it’s unlikely to change.

“When you sort of have 30 year events-which is what this was-you don’t need to get too excited about the future. I think the forecast will remain largely the same,” Johnson said on an earnings call Tuesday. TVA reported a $67 million loss for the first quarter. Johnson wouldn’t speculate on how January’s demand would affect the agency’s earnings.

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