Bad news for load-shedding tonight

Power utility Eskom will again implement stage 2 load-shedding on Tuesday evening due to delays in returning generation units to service.

This comes after it dropped load-shedding frequency over the evenings to stage 1 on Sunday and Monday.

“Eskom regrets to announce it will implement stage 2 load-shedding between 17:00 and 22:00 tonight due to delays in returning generating units at Kusile and Majuba power stations,” the utility said.

Eskom had issued a warning earlier in the day that the power system was under severe strain due to a shortage of capacity and high winter demand.

At around 13:00 in the afternoon Eskom said that breakdowns stood at 14,235MW of capacity, while a further 1,273MW was unavailable due to planned maintenance.

The situation deteriorated significantly since that time, with breakdowns increasing to 15,498MW by 16:00.

Eskom once again emphasised that the likelihood of load-shedding was high for the rest of the week.

It cautioned that capacity constraints would continue for the foreseeable future.

Eskom hit back at claims from energy analyst Ted Blom, who alleged that the utility had secretly implemented stage 6 load-shedding last week Wednesday (2 June), and not stage 2 as it stated.

Blom said the power utility faced a generating shortfall of 5,136 megawatt (MW) during that time, which he argued would have required stage 6 load-shedding for Eskom to handle.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha refuted this, and said that Eskom only load-shed 2,267MW during the evening peak on 2 June.

In response to Blom’s claims, the utility told MyBroadband that its peak shortfall on Wednesday was 3,962MW.

It said it had an installed capacity of 3,414MW through its open cycle gas turbine (OCGT) generating units, but because of low diesel levels only 14 were used.

“With stage 2 load-shedding as well as the demand response products bought from customers, there was sufficient capacity to supply the peak demand and meet the reserve requirements [of 33,322MW],” Eskom stated.

Now read: These private power plants help fight load-shedding in South Africa

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Bad news for load-shedding tonight