The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is enjoying record-breaking sales of its energy, setting records in demand for the 7-day period that ended Sunday. Total weekly energy use throughout the TVA’s 7-state region was more than 200 gigawatt hours higher than the previous record, set August 12, 2007. Total weekly energy use was recorded at 4.633 gigawatt hours, another record for the nation’s largest utility. TVA serves more than 9 million customers in Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
TVA officials say the increased energy demand is a result of extreme cold weather throughout the Southeast. The increase will likely help pad the coffers of the TVA, which are stretched these days due to a billion-dollar cleanup of an east Tennessee community that was covered in toxic sludge after a coal ash impoundment pond breached at the TVA’s Kingston site.
The TVA also shelled out millions to buy up damaged property at the spill site and to help pay for city and county improvements and a public relations campaign to help improve the damaged area’s image. Another billion is being spent to upgrade its other facilities. The utility is also facing lawsuits from hundreds who lost property or suffered injury as a result of the coal ash spill.
The TVA is entering negotiations with insurance companies to cover the billion-dollar cost of the cleanup; however, for now, TVA’s customers are footing that bill.