Appalachian Power customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee set an unofficial all-time peak demand of 8,410 megawatts (MW) at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7. Arctic cold weather across the company’s entire service area helped push electricity consumption past the previous record of 8,308 MW set on Jan. 16, 2009.
“We’re facing the coldest temperatures in 20 years, not just in some parts of our service territory, but across all of the three-state area that we serve,” said Charles Patton, Appalachian Power president and COO. “That has pushed the customer demand for electricity past anything we’ve ever seen.”
The new company peak will be confirmed next month when additional metering information is available to verify the customer consumption. A megawatt is a measurement of electricity demand equal to one million watts. One hundred watts will light a 100-watt light bulb.
Appalachian Power has approximately 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, which delivers electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.