AP

US’s largest public utility names panel to study blackouts

Jan 19, 2023, 12:23 PM | Updated: 3:09 pm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The nation’s largest public utility has appointed an independent panel to look into power failures that spurred the decision to implement rolling blackouts during dangerously cold conditions late last year, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday.

The public utility said the panel will include American Public Power Association President Joy Ditto, former Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker from Tennessee and retired Electric Power Research Institute CEO Mike Howard.

“These leaders bring tremendous experience and expertise not only in public power and energy systems, but also an understanding of the growing energy needs of the region,” Don Moul, TVA chief operating officer, said in a statement.

TVA has said it takes full responsibility for the Dec. 23 and 24 rolling blackouts and is undergoing an internal review of what happened.

TVA experienced its highest ever winter peak-power demand on Dec. 23.

The utility said a combination of high winds and freezing temperatures caused its coal-burning Cumberland Fossil Plant in Cumberland City to go offline when critical instrumentation froze up. The Bull Run coal-burning plant in Clinton also went offline, TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said. The utility “had issues at some of our natural gas units” as well, Brooks said.

TVA said most of the local power companies it supplies were able to keep the rolling blackouts to “relatively short durations” for the people dependent on its electricity.

TVA told all 153 local power companies to reduce their load on the electric grid by 5% or 10%, depending on the timing and the day, Brooks said. It was up to local power companies to decide how to make the reductions, and the rolling temporary power reductions were an option — not a requirement — for them, Brooks said.

The Nashville Electric Service, for example, said on Dec. 24 that customers should expect approximately 10-minute outages every 1.5 to 2 hours.

Brooks said TVA doesn’t have a way to track how many people lost their power due to rolling blackouts, or when. He said the local utilities that interrupted people’s power kept them to less than 30 minutes at a time “unless there were other issues on the local grid.”

TVA is also expected to factor in a review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which are investigating how power systems across the country operated during the winter storm.

Additionally, TVA’s inspector general office said it is monitoring the utility’s investigation to help decide what kind of inspector general reviews will be appropriate.

The rolling blackouts are certain to come up during the TVA board meeting on Feb. 16 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama — the first with a new majority of members picked by President Joe Biden.

TVA provides power to 10 million people in parts of seven Southern states.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona and New York attorneys feud over extraditing suspect...

Associated Press

Why Alvin Bragg and Rachel Mitchell are fighting over extraditing suspect in New York hotel killing

Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell says she isn't into extraditing a suspect due to her lack of faith in Manhattan’s top prosecutor.

3 days ago

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

4 days ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

11 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

12 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

14 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

US’s largest public utility names panel to study blackouts