• November 4, 2023 1:00 am

Eskom Increases Load Shedding Levels Until Further Notice

Oct 7, 2023
Eskom Increases Load Shedding Levels Until Further Notice

Eskom, South Africa’s beleaguered power utility, has resumed Stage 2 load shedding due to a loss in generation capacity, interrupting a brief period of relief from rolling blackouts. While some government officials express optimism about resolving the country’s power crisis, challenges persist, and load shedding remains a concern for many South Africans, particularly during a heatwave.

Eskom Increases Load Shedding Levels Until Further Notice

Stage 2 Load Shedding Returns

Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokwena confirmed the return of Stage 2 load shedding, citing the loss of four generation units and the need to replenish reserves. The power cuts began at 5 a.m. on Friday and will continue until further notice. Eskom emphasizes that it will communicate any significant changes to the situation.

Demand and Capacity Statistics

During Thursday’s evening peak, South Africa faced a demand of 29,169MW but had an available generating capacity of only 26,693MW. Eskom shed 1,928MW from the grid at the peak period while relying on power generation from 18 open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT) units.

Optimism and the Kusile Power Station

Despite ongoing challenges, Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa expressed optimism about the country’s power situation. He suggested that South Africa has begun to “turn the corner” in addressing the power crisis. Ramokgopa highlighted the importance of restoring more units at the Kusile power station in the coming months, which could provide additional energy capacity.

Kusile’s Impact and Return

Kusile power station’s units 1, 2, and 3 were idled nearly a year ago due to safety concerns and licensing restrictions, resulting in a loss of approximately 2,400MW from the national grid. However, the other two units at Kusile are expected to come back online around November 3, potentially generating over 2,400MW of electricity when operating at full capacity.

Conclusion

While optimism about resolving South Africa’s power crisis is expressed at the governmental level, the return of Stage 2 load shedding underscores the ongoing challenges faced by Eskom.

Load shedding remains a concern, especially during peak demand periods and extreme weather conditions. The restoration of units at the Kusile power station is expected to play a pivotal role in improving the energy situation in the country.

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