published Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

TVA blames vegetation near transmission line for power cutoff to 32,000

The Tennessee Valley Authority is blaming vegetation growth along a 161,000-volt line on Williams Island for at least two power interruptions today that cut off power to about 32,000 homes and businesses.

EPB spokesman John Pless said power interruptions from a TVA transmission line at least twice today interrupted power from Red Bank to Graysville at different times this afternoon. Both TVA and EPB rerouted power using smart grid technologies to limit the interruptions and to restore service.

Jason Regg, a right-of-way manager for TVA, said tonight that TVA determined the likely cause of the transmission line problem was a fallen tree or limb from vegetation that grew up around TVA's 161,000-volt line on Williams Island in the Tennessee River.

Regg said TVA will dispatch a boat and tree-trimming equipment to Williams Island as soon as possible to clear vegetation that apparently interfered with the transmission line that delivers TVA-generated power to EPB.

Tuesday’s power fluctuations and interruptions were the first for TVA from a falling tree or vegetation so far the current fiscal year. TVA has maintained 99.999 percent reliable delivery of power its its distributors for the past 14 years.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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