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Could Load Management Involve Professional Sports?

Todd Carney's picture
Writer Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
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  • Dec 27, 2022

As weather pushes different grids to the brink, different governments are being forced to scramble to take new initiatives to prevent power outages. The Center Square reported on an  interesting move from the Mayor of Nashville, John Cooper, which was to ask the Tennessee Titans to postpone their big game.

On Christmas Eve morning, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced that they were facing power problems due to the issues in weather. They announced that they were working with various local power companies in order to reduce the amount of power usage.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is the greatest supplier of public power in the United States. It creates 90 percent of the state’s electric capacity. The federal government owns the Tennessee Valley Authority, and it serves 10 million people. It works with 153 power companies.

Cooper announced via Twitter that he had asked for the Tennessee Titan to postpone their game. Cooper also called for long term load management solutions by saying that the Tennessee Valley Authority must invest in infrastructure to prevent these issues. 

The Tennessee Titans faced some flack for having its lights on ahead of the game. Nashville’s hockey team, the Nashville Predators, played their game on Friday night, but they said that they use generators, rather than the grid to run their electricity.

Ultimately the Tennessee Titans did postpone their game by one hour. They said that the reason for the postponement was concern over the grid. They said that they consulted with the NFL to make this decision, but it is unclear if this was precisely what Cooper wanted.

Regardless of whether the Tennessee Titans did everything they could, other Tennessee politicians, beyond Cooper, have also called on the Tennessee Valley Authority to make additional investments. These kinds of actions are likely where the long term solutions lie.

Still, the situation with the Tennessee Titans is interesting to reflect on and should cause governments to look into what role professional sports stadiums play in load management. They use a ton of electricity, and likely require much of that energy to be on around the clock. So maybe they could find ways to cut some energy use. It could be cutting some electricity usage during off hours or having to use generators more. Additionally, these stadiums could rely on renewable energy further. They have the money to make the investments to use energy in a more productive and efficient way.



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