Winter Storm Elliott

Over the holiday weekend, we experienced a series of unprecedented events in the Warren RECC territory. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your quick response in conserving energy as well as your patience. Because you are an owner of this cooperative, we would also like to give you a more in-depth overview of what happened on December 23 and 24, and how your cooperative responded. 

December 22: Beginning on December 22, Winter Storm Elliott brought record cold temperatures to the entire Tennessee Valley. Those temperatures remained throughout the weekend and caused a record-breaking demand on the electric grid.

December 23: On December 23, TVA experienced a demand of 33,425 MW of electricity, which is the largest winter peak in TVA history. TVA also set an all-time record for energy delivery for a 24-hour period of 740 gigawatt-hours. The previous record, set in 2018, was 706 gigawatt-hours.

Despite preparations for these extreme conditions, TVA experienced a loss of generation capability on the morning of December 23 which left them unable to meet the demand for electricity across the Tennessee Valley. At that time, TVA required all 153 local power companies to reduce their load to protect the grid from a larger, more long-term failure. When such requirements are made, we explore every possible way to meet the requirement with the least amount of impact to our members. Options include:

  • Shifting electric loads around;
  • Requiring members to conserve energy; and
  • Scheduling intermittent outages.

On the 23rd, Warren RECC was able to shift some of our electric load to neighboring Kentucky Utilities and our industrial members were able to reduce consumption to only essential needs. We did ask you to voluntarily conserve as much electricity as possible, and we appreciate your efforts to do so. We hoped those actions would help stabilize the electric system while TVA worked to restore their generation capacity. 

December 24: Unfortunately, the sustained extreme cold continued to create record demand on the electric system. On the morning of December 24, TVA experienced another extreme spike in demand while generation capacity was still being restored. This time, TVA required a larger reduction of our electric load, and we were unable to prevent intermittent outages in our service territory. By the afternoon of December 24, TVA’s generation capacity was restored, the extreme temperatures subsided, and we were able to return to normal operations.

We want to THANK YOU once again for your quick work in conserving energy and your patience during this emergency. Be assured that Warren RECC staff was hard at work all weekend trying to find the least disruptive plan that effectively met our regulatory obligations. Working with TVA as our power supplier, we will perform a full review of the events and implement any recommended changes to serve you better. As always, we thank you for being a Warren RECC member.

For more information on TVA’s response and future actions, click here