TVA improves winter resiliency after last year’s winter storm

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – In 2022, TVA experienced its largest power demand in history in response to Winter Storm Elliott and many found themselves with limited power availability.

For the first time in 90 years, TVA had to implement emergency procedures, causing local power companies to interrupt power to keep everything stable.

Derek Dunaway is the Plant Manager at the Caledonia Combined Cycle Plant, he says since then, they have been working to improve winter resiliency.

“This plant by itself, we’ve spent just over a million dollars doing the same here,” Dunaway said. “Insulation, temporary enclosures to protect exposed equipment, upgrading our heat trace. Just so things don’t freeze and we can stay online even when it’s cold and windy outside.”

All the units run 24/7 to provide the people of the valley with reliable power whenever they need it. The technology supplies real-time data to alert technicians if there is an issue.

“Cold temperatures come in, you have water processes and steam processes,” Dunaway said. “If those processes freeze or fail, then we’re not able to make power. So, that’s why we’re doing all these winterization efforts.”

Over the past three months, TVA has invested nearly $123 million to improve the reliability of the coal, gas, and hydro plants.

TVA is also adding $120 million to enhance the reliability of the production facilities.

“We’ve got a real good team though. We’ve invested a lot back into this plant, and we’re ready to make that goal,” Dunaway said.

By the end of this month, TVA employees will have completed nearly 3,400 winter readiness activities.

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