TVA Admits Tennesseans Will Be Stuck At Home With Electric Cars In Another “Generation” Event

Image Credit: Wilson County Television

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

A TVA spokesman admitted on Monday night that Tennesseans who own electric cars would be stuck at home without transportation during a future “generation” weather event. 

An informational meeting with Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was held at the Wilson County Commission in Lebanon, Tennessee on Monday night to address issues with power that the county experienced during the winter storm last month. 

Chuck Barber from MTE and Chris Templeton from TVA addressed the commission and members of the public. 

After his presentation, Templeton was asked what would happen to the power grid if 50% of Tennesseans owned electric cars. Templeton chuckled and then admitted that during another “once in a generation” weather event, customers would be asked not to charge them. 

Templeton called Winter Storm Elliot a “once in a generation storm” meaning an event that happens about once every thirty years. 

“What we weren’t able to imagine, was the speed and the powerfulness of the storm,” Templeton said. “Between 1 and 6 am, the temperature dropped 40 degrees. We experienced winds forty miles an hour… we had not experienced that before. And the storm was 2,000 miles wide.”

TVA, which covers a seven state region, would normally expect to see a portion of the system impacted in severe weather, but instead the entire system was challenged when they encountered the highest 24-hour electricity demand on record for TVA in 90 years of operation. 

“I don’t know that we’ve ever had where the entire system was impacted, where we got no relief from the subzero temps, the wind, that the power grid was strained across the nation, that if you look at maps, this storm came in and within a couple of hours, the impact it had on our service area was significant,” said Templeton.   

TVA operates a 32,000 megawatts generation transmission system providing power to MTE and the other 152 local power companies that serve across the seven state region that they cover. 

According to Templeton, TVA anticipated about a 31,000 megawatt peak during the worst of the storm but underestimated that by about 10%.  

In addition, Cumberland Fossil Plant which generates 2,500 megawatts  did not operate through the storm due to a sensing line that froze and tripped the unit off. This coal unit has boilers that are located outside so they were completely exposed to the elements. 

“We operate our system at a minimum of 10% reserves, that we have that in the event that something trips off, we’ve got 10% reserves sitting there waiting to come online,” said Templeton   

But this time, TVA did not have the reserves they normally have. 

Although they expected it to be a bad event, and planned to import purchased power, they were not able to import that power due to the strain on other areas nearby. 

In his 17 years with TVA, Templeton said he has never seen a situation like the one experienced with Winter Storm Elliot. 

Because of contractual agreements with industrial customers that almost work like a pseudo generation unit, TVA was able to call those customers to drop their load to reduce strain on the system. 

Templeton called MTE “heroes” for acting quickly to reduce the load by instituting rolling blackouts, and avoiding a catastrophic situation in Tennessee similar to what happened in Texas in 2021. 

In what he called a short term strategy, Templeton said the units that failed will all be reinforced by January 30th. 

A full action review is being taken now which will have internal, external, and independent components. 

“We’ve got some work to do to repair our reputation,” said Templeton. 

“This was a TVA operational event,” he said. “We found ourselves in a position we’ve not been able to imagine before.” 

Watch the meeting below:

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

One thought on “TVA Admits Tennesseans Will Be Stuck At Home With Electric Cars In Another “Generation” Event

  • January 28, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    How about building more natural gas fired power plants since the TVA shutdown most of the coal fired plants that it used own instead of trying placate to the woke crowd. Also known as WEF and NWO. God is in control of the weather not man. They are telling customers to their faces, get use to it. It is only going to get worse. It’s all about controlling every aspect of ours lives by the world elites. Wake up people!
    In God we trust not government or man.
    Have a blessed day.


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