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TVA prepares for high summer energy demands

TVA says the average service area temperature this week has reached 94 degrees, and it's only going to get hotter.

The utility company says it is seeing its highest energy use since the summer of 2012, and it's ready to handle the high demands.

"We're here to make sure the light comes on, the air conditioner comes on," said TVA Spokesman Travis Brickey.

Brickey said the average usage heading into the weekend is nearly 30,000 megawatts for 9 million people in the seven-state area TVA covers.

"If you think about it, a single nuclear generator is around 1,100 megawatts, and we are having to produce 30,000 megawatts," said Brickey.

TVA says it's ready, though they're amping up operations to handle the heat.

"It takes our entire generation fleet of nuclear, gas, coal, hydro, renewables, all that to make that 30,000 megawatts," said Brickey.

"When it gets hot, people are really turning on those air conditioners trying to stay cool, and we're going to be sure that when they do that, that stuff will turn on," he said.

But don't crank it up too much, Brickey said that's the main reason your energy usage is high in the summer.

"You may not need it at 68 degrees, turning it up just a few degrees can really save you," said Brickey. "When you go to work in the morning, you can turn the thermostat up."

Brickey said lakes are a great place for the family to go to stay cool, and are affordable as well.