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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

Eskom announces stage 2 load shedding

Eskom said it will use the next two days to replenish its emergency generation reserves.

Power utility Eskom on Monday announced that it is moving the country to stage 2 load shedding.

“Due to multiple unit failures, stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 17:00 Monday and implemented continuously until 05:00 on Wednesday.

Eskom’s earlier statement indicated that it would only cut power supply at night.
But the latest statement says there’s been another breakdown at Medupi Power Station since Monday afternoon, and it would implement rolling blackouts to relieve some of the demand on the grid.

The ailing parastatal has lost 15 228MW from recent breakdowns, while another 6,307MW of capacity is out on planned maintenance.

“Since this morning, a unit each at the Matla, Kendal, Matimba, Kusile and Grootvlei power stations tripped, while a unit each at Arnot and Hendrina power stations were forced to shut down,” said Eskom in a statement.

“This, in addition to other units that had tripped during the weekend, reduced available generation capacity and forced Eskom to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves to keep the lights on.”

Eskom will use the next two days to replenish the emergency generation reserves.

But the parastatal is warning that it might have to extend the power cuts at short notice should there be more breakdowns over the next few days.

“While we expect some generation units to return to service over the next 24 hours, Eskom appeals to all South Africans to help us limit the impact of load shedding by reducing the usage of electricity and to switch off all non-essential items,” said Eskom.

The country’s domestic electricity generation capacity currently stands at 58,095MW, with coal accounting for 80% of the national energy mix while renewable energy only accounts for 10%.

Eskom’s ageing infrastructure, reduced reliability, inferior quality of coal, and the significant gap between capacity and demand has left the country susceptible to rolling blackouts.

These have also contributed to the increased frequency of load shedding to help reduce the burden on its power generation facilities.

Just last week, Eskom announced that it was delaying crucial planned maintenance at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station to next year.

Officials said the repairs required on Koeberg’s steam generators would have taken longer than the allocated five months.

It decided that deferring the maintenance to next year was in the country’s best interest because it needed the extra generation capacity for the high-demand winter period.

NOW READ: ‘Don’t panic about stage eight load shedding’ – Eskom spokesperson

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