Faizel Patel
Senior Digital Journalist
2 minute read
31 May 2022
1:26 pm

Eskom grid wobbling, load shedding may be implemented at short notice

Faizel Patel

There is currently 1 976MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 398MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.

Eskom has warned that it may implement load shedding at short notice from 5pm until 10pm should there be any further significant breakdowns in generation capacity.

While no load shedding is currently anticipated, the dark lords of Megawatt Park informed the public that the continued shortage of generation capacity has led to a constrained power grid for Tuesday evening.

Spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsa said Eskom will continue to closely monitor the system, adjust and communicate any changes as may be necessary.

“We appeal to all South Africans to help limit the impact of the shortages by continuing to reduce the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items.”

“We currently have 1 976MW on planned maintenance, while another 15 398MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns. Eskom cautions the public that as the shortage of generation capacity persists, the system will continue to be constrained with an elevated risk of load shedding over the coming weeks,” Mantshantsha said.

The parastatal said load shedding is implemented only as a last resort to protect the national grid.

Eskom implemented stage 2 load shedding on Monday, barely 24 hours after it suspended rolling blacouts on the weekend.

The onset of winter is likely to put more pressure on the electricity grid as the power utility battles to keep the lights on.

Last month, Eskom announced that South Africa could experience more than a hundred days of load shedding this winter if Eskom is unable to keep the lights on.

Head of the Transmission Division Segomoco Scheppers said load shedding in winter will depend on whether it is able to contain the unplanned breakdowns to below 12 500MW.

“Today we are struggling to achieve the lower level of unplanned [break downs] that we desire and it progressively increases to 37 days for winter and in the extreme could be as high 101 days, but that is clearly very far in the extreme,” Scheppers said.

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