Eskom has announced that it will continue to implement load-shedding on Thursday 16 July 2020.
The power utility said that it will implement stage 1 load-shedding from 09:00 until 14:00, after which stage 2 load-shedding will take effect until 22:00.
These rolling blackouts are necessary due to the much colder weather, which has increased demand for electricity, Eskom said.
“Due to the much colder weather, demand for electricity has significantly increased this afternoon,” Eskom said.
“It is currently more than 2,000MW higher than yesterday and we forcecast that the evening peak demand will still be much higher.”
“This was already the highest demand so far this year at more than 33,000MW,” the power utility said.
This increased demand, together with a series of unplanned breakdowns at numerous power plants, has resulted in Eskom’s power generation capacity falling significantly short of what is needed to power the country.
“Eskom is working hard to return these generation units to service to help reduce strain on the system,” it said.
“While we appreciate the cold weather, Eskom urges the public to assist by switching off heating appliances, geysers, and other appliances.”
On and off again
Eskom said that its teams managed to return one generation unit to service at the Tutuka power station, but this was quickly followed by two more power units tripping – one at Medupi and the other at Kusile.
“This adds to one delayed generation unit at Tututka and one at Kendal,” Eskom said.
The power utility added that its teams were working hard to return these generation units to service, noting that implementing load-shedding is the last resort in order to protect the national power grid.
This will be the sixth consecutive day Eskom has implemented load-shedding in South Africa since the national COVID-19 lockdown.
The power utility previously said only three days of stage 1 load-shedding would be implemented over the entire winter season.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) July 15, 2020