Nashville residents voice concerns as NES, TVA discuss December power outages
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Southeast Nashville residents got a chance to voice their concerns and hear from both TVA and NES following the rolling blackouts and extended power outages that took place around the Christmas holiday.
The power outages affected thousands, but the Antioch and Cane Ridge communities were hit harder and longer than other areas.
“The decision you made was the wrong decision. If you are going to do the 10-minute blackouts, start on the other side of town. Start somewhere else. Just don’t start in Antioch because we got the most population. We got the most Black and brown,” one resident said.
Thursday’s public meeting was held by state Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, and Metro Councilmember Joy Styles, who have shared their concerns about infrastructure in southeast Nashville and the lack of communication with residents.
During the meeting, NES gave its perspective on what happened.
“The cabinet, it is called a remote terminal unit. It’s what we communicate from the main computer system in the control center. We communicate with it, and it operates all the equipment in the substation,” Jack Baxter, NES Vice President of Operations, said. “There was a fire that began in that control cabinet. I have been here for 25 years. I have seen this happen one other time.”
NES also recognized communication could have been better and plans on investing in a communication system.
“We are providing $250 million in our communications system to where we are going to be able to provide push notifications,” Antonio Carroll, NES Government Relations, said. “We will be providing that kind of upgrade coming soon onto our network.”
Many weren’t satisfied with the explanation and believe more could be done.
“The essence of all of this is poor planning equals poor outcome, and I know that you guys have said the effects of the weather were surprising. I don’t know what is so surprising about this,” local resident Richard Johnson said.
Styles said the plan is to revisit the conversation in the future with NES and TVA to see what progress has been made.
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