Air conditioning. A cold glass of iced tea. A ceiling fan. Electricity is important year around, but there is something about summer that makes it even more crucial.

This was a hot summer. It began with a May that was 83% hotter than last year, and June, July and August provided little relief. Hot weather brings with it a surge in demand for energy. With air conditioning, refrigeration and pool pumps putting added strain on our system, I am pleased to report that Powell Valley Electric Cooperative’s power grid met the summer power needs of the communities we serve. I commend our team for the planning, preparation and work required to keep the lights on and our communities cool through this long, hot summer.

With the intensity of summer in Tennessee largely behind us, it is worth taking a moment to reflect on what makes the modern power grid truly

It adapts to real-time to changes in demand.
Whether it is a sweltering summer day or a mild fall evening, the power grid adapts to meet the real-time needs of our communities. Power cannot be efficiently stored, so it must be generated and delivered to your home or business the very moment you need it.

Sometimes you need more; sometimes you need less. Regardless, the grid adapts to those moment-by-moment needs.

It is remarkably reliable.
I know that, despite our best efforts, sometimes the power does go out. Fortunately, that is relatively unusual. In fact, in the last 12 months, our team at PVEC has kept the lights on 99.94 % of the time. Even so, we’re continuing to invest in the system and adapt our processes to minimize power interruptions.

PVEC has also invested and continues to invest in technology to help us operate a more efficient, reliable and secure power grid. From remote switches and monitors along the distribution system to communication and control systems in our substations, we have access to more data and information about the status of our power system than ever before. This allows us to make better decisions to keep rates low and reliability high.

As an official with the Tennessee Valley Authority recently told a reporter, summer in the South is the Super Bowl for utilities. It is what we prepare for all year. I am pleased that we navigated the challenges of this hot summer — and even more pleased that cooler weather is approaching. You and your family can be confident that the team at Powell Valley Electric Co-op will be here, working around the clock to meet your power needs, regardless of the temperature.

— Brad Coppock