JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — BrightRidge is one of many electric companies that implemented 15-minute rolling blackouts system-wide, according to a news release from the power company on Friday.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) mandated the temporary outages. The power company did not release a map of blackout locations and times.
As of 1 p.m., TVA lifted the mandate.
“TVA has lifted its rolling blackout mandate,” BrightRidge officials say. “All BrightRidge service distribution system restoration efforts continue. BrightRidge has called in additional contracted personnel to assist in restoring remaining outages.”
BrightRidge crews continue to repair damage to the distribution grid, which resulted in hundreds of outages Friday morning amid an arctic blast across the Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia region.
Restoration times are unknown at this time.
Elizabethton Electric also warned its customers of the rolling outages on Friday and said the outages would be short in duration.
A Bristol, Tennessee Essential Services (BTES) official said the blackouts affected different groups of customers at a given time and lasted for 15 minutes.
“We are joining other local power companies to implement TVA’s request to conduct rolling power outages,” said BTES Interim CEO Clayton Dowell. “As part of this process, we anticipate that groups of customers will experience approximately 15-minute-long power outages.
“This will ensure that consumers have at least a periodic supply of electricity. This process will continue for as long as necessary to help TVA reduce the likelihood of more widespread outages. “
Within an hour, BTES said that TVA officials notified power companies that there is no longer a need for the rolling outages.
“We have just been notified by TVA that the necessity for rolling power outages will end at this time,” BTES officials said. “We will remain in regular communication with TVA to determine if future action is necessary. As extreme weather conditions continue, we ask for the public to join us in continuing to reduce energy usage for the time being.”
Appalachian Electric Cooperative said that all its substations implemented the blackouts, except “for those with critical load, like the hospital.”
“TVA is implementing our Emergency Load Curtailment Program,” the power company posted on Facebook. “We have been through several steps to reach this point, but please understand that this rolling blackout is to help prevent the entire Tennessee Valley from experiencing a blackout.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work with TVA to keep everyone’s power on not only in our system but across the Tennessee Valley.”
Rolling blackouts are implemented to better manage power grids when supply doesn’t meet demand.
No further details have been released at this time.