US Utility Companies Apply ‘Rolling Blackouts’ Due to Freezing Temps

USA News

  • US power companies are using ‘rolling blackouts’ to conserve energy due to the winter storm.
  • The Tennessee Valley Authority and PJM Interconnection are asking customers to reduce power use.
  • “Planned intermittent interruptions support system reliability,” the TVA said in a statement.

Freezing temperatures from the ongoing winter storm sweeping the United States have prompted some utility companies to institute “rolling blackouts” to keep power systems from failing.

In the South, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced Saturday morning that it was asking local power companies to “reduce load” due to “continued unprecedented cold temps resulting in high power demand.” The TVA services all of Tennessee. Parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small areas in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia are also powered by the TVA.

“Planned intermittent interruptions support system reliability,” the company said in a tweet. “We appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we manage this unprecedented demand.”

TVA CEO Don Moul said that the company has “lost some generation” due to “the extreme cold and high winds” from the storm. 

“As we work through this unprecedented event, thank you for your patience and corporation,” Moul said in a video on Twitter.

The TVA began instructing local power companies to reduce power usage on Friday night, and some have instituted rolling blackouts in some cities such as Nashville, Tennessee. Some local power companies have also started using rolling blackouts after the TVA asked them to reduce power usage. 


PJM Interconnection, based in Pennsylvania, also asked companies within its system to conserve energy. The company asked residents to turn off non-essential lights, set their thermostats lower than usual, and not use major appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines, the AP reported.

PJM covers areas in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C, according to the AP.

The company also said that people should be prepared for the possibility of rolling blackouts.

“It’ll be short-lived, we’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but it is a real possibility,” Mike Bryson, PJM’s senior vice president for operations, told the AP.

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