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Eskom Clever Strategy for a 9-Day Load Shedding Suspension

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Eskom Clever Strategy for a 9-Day Load Shedding Suspension

Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, has shown a notable effort to prevent load shedding from occurring between October 20 and 28, even as generation and plant performance were deteriorating.

Eskom Clever Strategy for a 9-Day Load Shedding Suspension

This feat was achieved primarily by increasing the use of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) with the assistance of significantly lower electricity demand.

However, this success couldn’t be sustained as colder weather led to a surge in demand, requiring Eskom to return to stage 2 and stage 3 load shedding.

A Remarkable Streak of No Load Shedding

During the 43rd week of the year, South Africa experienced its longest period without load shedding in 2023, marking a significant improvement compared to the ongoing power cuts experienced for much of the year.

Eskom managed to maintain this load shedding-free period despite a drop in the energy availability factor (EAF) and an increase in unplanned outages.

Factors Behind Load Shedding Suspension

A critical factor contributing to the suspension of load shedding was a significant reduction in electricity demand.

This decline in demand resulted from the broader adoption of alternative energy sources, including self-generation and rooftop solar, both by individuals and companies.

Additionally, higher electricity tariffs implemented in April and July have influenced consumption behavior, leading to reduced electricity demand.

Increased Utilization of Diesel

Another vital aspect of maintaining load shedding at bay was the increased utilization of diesel.

While Eskom had been gradually reducing its use of OCGTs since September, the annualized rate of utilization spiked in the specified week.

Normally, OCGTs are utilized at an annual rate of 1%, but in response to the South African energy crisis, the energy regulator (NERSA) allowed for a higher utilization rate of 6%.

Challenges and Costs

However, due to extensive plant breakdowns during that week, the weekly utilization rate reached 31.3%, causing the annual utilization rate to rise once again.

Eskom’s extensive use of OCGTs has come at a substantial cost, with the utility spending significantly more than expected on these gas turbines in the current financial year.

The Financial Impact

In its latest financial reporting, Eskom revealed a significant increase in spending on gas turbines in the current financial year, with total spending more than doubling what was spent in the previous year.

The financial impact of relying on OCGTs to avoid load shedding is substantial, highlighting the challenges Eskom faces in maintaining a reliable power supply.

This approach to avoiding load shedding has come at a significant financial cost, and its sustainability remains uncertain in the face of ongoing energy challenges in South Africa.

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Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

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Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

Until 05:00 on Tuesday, stage 4 loadshedding will continue. Until further notice, Stage 2 and 4 loadshedding will take place.

Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

Monday, 10 July 2023: Stage 4 loadshedding is being implemented until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday due to increased demand. On Wednesday, Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented from 14:00 until 05:00, followed by Stage 2 loadshedding from 05:00 to 14:00.

Eskom Loadshedding Today

There will be a daily implementation of this pattern until further notice. A new update will be published if any significant changes are made.

As of now, 14 252MW of generating capacity has been damaged by breakdowns, while 4 118MW of generating capacity has been out of service for planned maintenance.

As of today, Duvha, Hendrina, Kendal, Kriel, Matimba and Medupi power stations have each reactivated a generating unit.

The Arnot and Tutuka power stations each had a generation unit out of service due to a breakdown during the same period.

Tutuka Power Station’s current capacity constraints are due to the delay in resuming two generating units. In order to restore service to the generating units, Eskom teams are working around the clock.

Members of the public are being encouraged to use electricity sparingly and efficiently, and we want to thank the people who do heed the call. During the period between 17:00 and 21:00, please turn off your geysers and pool pumps as this reduces demand, alleviates pressure on the power system, and contributes to fewer stages of load-shedding.

For Further Notice Visit Official Site 

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