Eskom power cuts are back

Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 2 load-shedding from 11:00 on Wednesday, 2 February until 05:00 Monday, 7 February 2022.

“This load-shedding is necessary due to a shortage of generation capacity following breakdowns of two more generating units during the night,” the state-owned power utility said.

“Since the weekend Eskom has utilised significant amounts of emergency generating reserves, which have now been depleted and need to be replenished. Eskom will use this period of load-shedding to replenish the emergency generation reserves.”

Eskom said that a unit each at Kusile and Kendal power stations tripped.

Delays in returning units at Kusile, Tutuka, Duvha, Lethabo, and Grootvlei have also contributed to the current supply constraints.

Total breakdowns amount to 14,994 MW while planned maintenance is 4,435 MW of capacity.

Three generating units are expected to return to service by this afternoon.

“Eskom appeals to all South Africans to help limit the impact of load-shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off non-essential items,” the company said.

“We will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the power system.”

According to Eskom’s outlook for the next seven months, load-shedding days could range between 0 and 90 days.

Eskom had an optimistic scenario that assumed 12,000MW of unavailable capacity during the summer months and 11,000MW during the winter months.

However, this would require it to spend R1.3 billion on diesel to run its open-cycle gas turbine generators (OCGTs).

Under a more moderate outlook that assumes another 1,000MW of unplanned capacity for each season, Eskom forecast seven days of Stage 1 load-shedding.

In this scenario, it expected to spend R3.5 billion to run OCGTs.

Eskom admitted that spending this much on OCGTs would be unfeasible, and it would likely have to resort to higher levels of load-shedding than the stage 1 and stage 2 in its original outlook.

Now read: Goodbye Eskom — Ekurhuleni signs 46 independent power producers

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Eskom power cuts are back