More bad news for load-shedding today

Eskom will increase load-shedding from stage 2 to stage 3 on Thursday after further breakdowns at three power stations.

The utility yesterday implemented stage 4 load-shedding for 8 hours, but moved back to stage 2 at 22:00, as it previously communicated it would.

However, shortly after this, it announced that more breakdowns had occurred at the Kusile, Matla, and Tutuka coal power stations.

“Breakdowns currently total 13,995MW of capacity, while planned maintenance is 1,273MW of capacity,” Eskom stated.

As a result, stage 3 load-shedding will be required between 8:00 and 22:00 on Thursday, after which stage 2 will be implemented again.

Eskom said it will use the higher intensity load-shedding to continue replenishing its depleted emergency generation reserves.

It again emphasised that its capacity constraints will continue for the foreseable future, and urged South Africans to reduce their electricity usage.

Surging demand

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha’s feedback stats from Wednesday showed that evening peak electricity demand it its highest level yet this year.

Despite the worst intensity of load-shedding for the year to date, total peak demand was at 34,097MW at 18:24, while Eskom had only 32,607MW of generation capacity available.

Stage 4 load-shedding shaved 4,728MW of capacity off the grid, while Eskom also had to use 9 of its open-cycle gas turbines to provide power.

Renewable generation contributed a further 295MW at peak, with wind providing 243MW, while solar CSP fed 52MW into the grid.

Now read: Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter’s incredible achievement

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More bad news for load-shedding today