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Huntsville Utilities monitoring power grid during heat advisory

Last May, the Tennessee Valley Authority warned Huntsville Utilities that the temperature could affect the power source.

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 6:05 PM

During the heat advisory, power companies are monitoring power grids to make sure everything is stable.

Huntsville Utilities said on days when it's extremely hot, it's not the temperature they worry about. It's the amount of energy people are using.

"While the weather is important, the demand of the system is what we have to monitor," said Gary Whitley with Huntsville Utilities.

Whitley said this season has been good so far. He said many customers have been doing well with keeping their cooling systems running normal. This helps to keep the power grid from overheating, causing people to lose their air conditioning.

Doug Smith owns the Lumberyard restaurant and said on days like Tuesday, he's happy he owns the space. He said every spot indoors has high ceilings to circulate the air, and the outdoor space has fans and shaded areas.

"Misting system and our fans in the shade and everything will be sometimes 15 degrees cooler than what might happen out in the courtyard or some place," said Doug Smith.

Whenever it is above 85 degrees outside, he makes sure his customers are cared for.

"We're always on guard, watching out for customers' safety, making sure they get plenty of water. We have an old bath tub we fill up with ice, and set up water stations for that," said Smith.

Whitley said it's important to not overload your AC unit by turning it too low. This will make it burn too much energy when it doesn't have to, making the power grid over heat.

So far, in this heatwave, there have been no warnings to change anything that anyone is doing.

"Hot, cold, thunderstorms, ice storms, snow storms, we have been here since 1940 and this is what we do every day, and we will continue to do that," said Whitley.

In May, we reported the Tennessee Valley Authority gave Huntsville Utilities a warning that the heat was threatening the power grid. That means they put some customers on notice about the potential for interrupted service.

Whitley said in the last month, they haven't been on alert.

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