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Grid Problems at Eskom: A Big Challenge for the Company

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Grid Problems at Eskom: A Big Challenge for the Company

Grid Problems at Eskom faces a lack of transmission grid capacity to add new wind and solar plants, and it doesn’t have enough funds for the necessary expansion.

This is according to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, who, during a media briefing on Sunday, 23 July 2023, said Eskom must think creatively to come up with a solution.

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“The expansion and the strengthening of the grid is going to require an inordinate amount of money, and of course, the Eskom balance sheet is not in a position to finance the kind of expansion that is required,” said Ramokgopa.

Grid Problems at Eskom: A Big Challenge for the Company

Eskom’s balance sheet will not necessarily be adequate to cover the needs on the transmissions side due to the scale and speed required.”

A senior executive from Intellidex, Peter Attard Montalto, told MyBroadband in May 2023 that Eskom is investing less than R1 billion in upgrading the transmission grid each year despite the need to invest R14.5 billion.

MyBroadband has confirmed that Eskom has reached capacity in the Northern Cape, with the entire Greater Cape region also close to capacity.

According to Montalto, independent renewable power producers will only have a meaningful impact on South African residents by 2026.

Assuming [trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel] does not delay things, we expect BW7 and 8 [bid window 7 and 8] to succeed – although he has been insisting on local content in the last few rounds. Montalto said that both rounds would have a 5GW capacity.

Combined with new batteries, this will seriously decrease load-shedding (but not until 2026 at the earliest).

According to Montalto, the transmission grid in the Northern, Western, and Eastern Cape is saturated, which is why no effort is being made to expand the grid.

It appears that grid access will no longer be available in many key areas for some time to come. In other words, more load-shedding will occur for a longer period of time than previously anticipated,” Montalto stated.

In the departments of mineral resources & energy and public enterprises, deep change is clearly needed, including a change in leadership and politics.

Eskom and the private sector have been pleading with increasing desperation to upgrade the transmission grid, but it hasn’t been achieved.

In consequence, the Northern, Western, and Eastern Capes’ transmission grids are full, and will remain full for the foreseeable future.

Montalto’s comments came after South Africa appointed only five bidders for the Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme’s bid window 6, which added 860MW.

As a result, the total could reach 1,000MW if a sixth bidder joins the fray.

The remaining 3.2GW have not been allocated due to insufficient transmission capacity at renewable power plant locations, Montalto said.

It was impossible for these projects (in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape) to be connected with the grid because Eskom had shown spare grid capacity (of about 3.8GW) during the bidding process in the two provinces, but instead had taken private off-taker projects instead (legally and by the rules).

Even though there are still plenty of opportunities for renewable power in other provinces, independent power producers aren’t as attracted to them.

Ramokgopa and Montalto, however, have criticized independent power producers for overlooking grid connections in places with excellent solar resources such as South Africa.

Basically, Ramokgopa said, private companies could build solar farms anywhere in South Africa and they would outperform pretty much anything in Europe.

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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.

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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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