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Tag: load shedding

Stage 2 load shedding to hit SA on Thursday amid cold front

Eskom will implement stage 2 load shedding from 16:00 to 21:00 on Thursday night due to generation issues, combined with the severe cold weather, the power utility announced.

“Unfortunately, a generation unit each at Tutuka and Medupi Power Stations were forced offline this afternoon, increasing the capacity constraints on the power system,” Eskom said.

“Further, a unit each at Medupi and Tutuka, that were expected to return to service this afternoon have now been delayed, further contributing to the shortages.”

SA told to ‘plan for load shedding’ THIS WEEK

One of the top energy experts in South Africa has Tweeted an ominous 15-word warning for the country, forecasting a very tense period for Eskom in the days to come. On top of the Level 4 restrictions and the aftermath of widespread looting, load shedding may soon make an unwelcome return.

IS LOAD SHEDDING RETURNING TO SA?

Ted Blom is something of an oracle when it comes to all things Eskom. His usually scathing takes on the load shedding situation never seem to be far from the mark, and when he says there’s a problem, it really is time to listen…

“Electricity supply going to be VERY tight again this week – plan for possible load shedding”

Ted Blom, energy analyst

WRITING ON THE WALL

South Africa has been burdened by load shedding in 2021, as rolling blackouts became as bothersome as the pandemic itself. Businesses, already crippled by lockdown and illnesses, have also had to contend with one of Eskom’s worst years on record. For the past month or so, the situation has been relatively serene – but that’s likely to change soon.

Freezing cold conditions are set to blast Mzansi this week, and that poses some severe operational challenges to the utility. Already on Monday, regions in Limpopo, North West, Gauteng, and Free State have been hit by load reduction schedules – signalling that a national plan of action may have to take place soon.

ESKOM AND LOAD SHEDDING: WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK…

There have been no outages since the middle of June, but it remains to be seen just how severe a potential new period of load shedding could be. For now, the experts are warning citizens of the republic to ‘plan ahead for the worst’.

 

Load shedding warning: Eskom says cold front could put pressure on system

Eskom warned that the cold weather affecting large parts of South Africa would result in an increased demand for electricity that could put more pressure on its system and possibly lead to load shedding on Monday, 12 July. The power supplier is appealing to citizens to reduce their electricity consumption.

ESKOM CALLS ON PUBLIC TO USE ELECTRICITY SPARINGLY

Eskom called on the public to use electricity sparingly on Monday, citing the weather warning issued by the South African Weather Service (SAWS) on Sunday that cautioned that wet, windy and cold conditions are expected to take hold in parts of the country because of a cold front.

“Following this warning, Eskom would like to appeal to the members of the public to continue using electricity sparingly,” said the power supplier in a statement.

Eskom said it has not implemented load shedding since 13 June because of an improvement in the performance of its generation fleet, adding that the system is performing relatively well at the moment.

“However, the cold front will increase the demand for electricity thereby putting pressure on the power system,” warned Eskom.

The power supplier said the people of South Africa can help ease the pressure on its system by using electricity sparingly and reducing their usage.

“Eskom will communicate promptly should there be any significant changes to the performance of the system,” concluded Eskom.

SEVERE WEATHER THREATENS NETWORK IN WESTERN AND EASTERN CAPE

In a separate statement on Monday, Eskom said its network in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape are expected to face “serious challenges” – such as strong winds, extreme cold and heavy rainfall – on the day, which puts the network at risk and may affect the electricity supply of customers and leave them without electricity for prolonged periods of time.

“Eskom urges customers to remain patient and follow the channels made available to log a fault.

“Eskom will prioritise its response based on the size and duration of the faults. Large faults on the MV [Medium Voltage] and HV [High Voltage] network that affect a large number of customers will be prioritised,” said the power supplier.

Eskom explains why there was no load shedding the last 8 days

It has been eight straight days without power cuts, with many South Africans wondering why we haven’t been hit with blackouts.

Earlier this month, while the country was gripped by stage 4 power cuts, Eskom warned South Africans to expect the power cuts to continue throughout the rest of the winter, especially during the evening peak periods.

At one point this month, 15 generating units were offline at Eskom’s aging power plants.

“We’ve managed to return to service unit 1 of Koeberg which generates 900MW of electricity – that on its own takes away a stage of load shedding,” Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said.

He said that the Koeberg win, and other smaller victories, had all added up and there had not been a need to turn off the power for more than a week now.

He also said that crucial machines at Eskom were holding up and at the moment, the utility was supplying 30,000 megawatts (MW) of power, which increased during the evening peak.

Mantshantsha said that they had not skimped on maintenance either.

“We are doing plenty of maintenance. At this particular point, we have 3,000MW on planned maintenance. We have another 10,900MW on breakdowns – that gives you about 14,000MW not available at the moment.”

However, he warned that as the country was still in the grip of the winter period, which automatically ramped up power usage, Eskom may need to implement power cuts at any time.

While we’ve made it through eight straight days without rolling blackouts, many communities were still being hit with load reduction, as Eskom tried to protect its network from overloading in high-density parts of the country.

Load shedding latest: MP fears electricity grid ‘is set to collapse’

We are in a dark hole with Eskom right now, and with no light at the end of the tunnel, things are looking increasingly bleak. Stages 3 and 4 of load shedding have been implemented this week, with South Africans now being made to feel grateful for the ‘less severe’ Stage 1 and 2 cuts. However, nothing about this situation is favourable…

IS SOUTH AFRICA HEADING FOR A GRID COLLAPSE?

The decision to cut the power is meant to help the firm recover its emergency supplies. But Eskom seems to have been in a perpetual state of emergency for months, if not years. That’s why this particularly cumbersome programme of load shedding is causing concern in some political circles.

Ghaleb Cachalia is the shadow minister for Public Enterprises. He is essentially Pravin Gordhan’s opposite number. He’s had A LOT to complain about in this role, and the DA representative is now openly wondering if the worst-case scenario is slowly creeping up on South Africans. The senior politician wants to know if the ENTIRE GRID is set to collapse.

LOAD SHEDDING – JUST HOW BAD CAN IT GET?

Such a move would plunge Mzansi into its worst energy crisis yet. The country is yet to experience Stage 7 and Stage 8 power outages, but these two represent the end of the line: If these phases cannot protect the grid, nothing can.

Eskom has dipped its toes into Stage 6 load shedding before, but a punishing start to June has seen the lights go out almost every day of the month so far. With anxieties about the power supply reaching fever pitch, Cachalia has asked the top executives at the SOE to come clean with the public, and give it to us straight…

  • Is South Africa heading for a total blackout?

“In light of Eskom’s announcement of Stage 4 load shedding yesterday and Stage 3 load shedding today, it would appear that the grid is on the verge of imminent collapse. Apart from daily updates on various power stations and announcing rolling blackouts without warning, Eskom has largely been economical with the truth about the national grid.

“If we are already on Stages 3 and 4 in June, could South Africans be in perpetual darkness by August? Both Eskom CEO Andre De Ruyter and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan appear to be hiding behind a veil of secrecy as Eskom plunges our economy and healthcare system further into the abyss.” | Ghaleb Cachalia

Eskom issues load shedding warning on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Eskom warned that the power system is severely constrained, with a high probability of load shedding – most likely between 17:00 and 22:00 this evening.

“While we do not anticipate to implement load shedding at this point, Eskom would like to urge the public to reduce the usage of electricity as the power system is under severe strain due to the shortage of generation capacity and high winter demand,” the utility said in a statement.

Breakdowns currently total 14 235 MW of capacity, while another 1 273 MW of capacity is unavailable due to planned maintenance. On Monday, breakdowns caused a loss of 15 500 MW, while planned maintenance caused a loss of 1 270 MW.

While no load shedding is anticipated at this point, Eskom could be forced to implement stage 1 or, if necessary, stage 2 load shedding at short notice should any further breakdowns occur, it warned.

This is most likely to occur between 17:00 and 22:00 in the evening, the utility said.

South Africa has been hit by another bout of load shedding over the past month. Most recently, breakdowns of generating units at the Majuba and Arnot power stations hit the power supply, as well delays in returning units to service at Arnot and Tutuka power stations.

In addition, unit 1 of the Koeberg power station has been offline since January for maintenance work. It was supposed to return to service last month, but this still hasn’t happened.

Eskom on Friday suspended Koeberg’s general manager Velaphi Ntuli over performance issues related to the delayed return to service.

Load shedding back this afternoon

Stage 1 load shedding will kick in again at 5 pm on Monday evening and will continue until 10 pm, Eskom said.

This was necessary due to the loss of two-generation units at Kusile and one each at Kendal and Tutuka, said spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha in a voice note.  The constraints were exacerbated by delays in returning a unit each at Kusile, as well as units at Duvha and Matla, to service.

Breakdowns caused a loss of capacity totalling 15 500 MW, while planned maintenance caused a loss of 1 270 MW.

There is a high likelihood of load shedding for the rest of the week and constraints will continue “for the foreseeable future” said Mantshantsha.

He urged the public to use less electricity during peak hours.

After days of load shedding, Cyril PRAISES Eskom for ‘making progress’

Cyril Ramaphosa has always been the ‘glass half-full’ type – but his latest attempts to take an optimistic view of what’s happening with our load shedding situation won’t get many South Africans onside.

ESKOM’S WEEK TO FORGET

The president wrote in his weekly newsletter on Monday that the country is ‘making progress’ with a multitude of challenges, including that of energy shortages. The announcement comes after SA endured a six-day period of load shedding, which is believed to have secretly reached ‘Stage 6’ in some regions.

The latest bout of power cuts packed a particularly galling punch – particularly on Friday, when load shedding was suspended thanks to a request from Parliament. The ‘one rule for them’ sentiment was particularly strong amongst the general population, and Eskom fell further out of the good books following a nightmare week.

RAMAPHOSA ‘SEES PROGRESS ON LOAD SHEDDING FRONT’

However, that hasn’t stopped Ramaphosa from defending the state-owned entity. He believes the ‘pace of reform’ at Eskom is increasing, and he asked South Africans to ease-up on the cynicism. Erm, good look with that one Cyril…

“When times are tough, it is easy to be pessimistic. It is understandable that citizens are frustrated by the slow pace of change, and feel that our problems are intractable. We’re making progress in resolving many of our challenges, from corruption to energy shortages to the obstacles that discourage investment. The pace of reform is picking up.”

“Cynical though some among us may be, let the progress we are making in overcoming the immediate crisis motivate us to do even better. Throughout the course of our history we have had setbacks and false starts. But our resilient nature allowed us to weather many storms.  Let us nurture the green shoots of progress.” | Cyril Ramaphosa

  • You can read his full statement here

 

Fury as Eskom’s ‘Parly power-play’ EXTENDS load shedding by two days

Eskom’s decision to lift load shedding ‘because of a request from Parliament‘ has left a bitter and sour taste in the mouths of millions of South Africans on Friday. From 12:00 until 17:00, the lights will come back on across the country so the National Assembly ‘can finalise its work’. However, this little power-play has left us with an unfavourable side-effect.

STAGE 2 LOAD SHEDDING ‘EXTENDED FOR THE WEEKEND’

The utility has had to raid its own emergency supplies to ensure they can suspend load shedding for a brief period today. however, that’s undone some of the gains made in the previous few days. Therefore, to compensate for the extra consumption, Stage 2 power outages will now be in place from 17:00 on Friday, through to 22:00 on Sunday (6 June).

“In response to a request from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Stage 2 load shedding will be suspended this afternoon, so a virtual sitting of Parliament can take place and pass a series of Appropriation Bills. This is essential for keeping the government operating, and the Bill dictates funding for hospitals, law enforcement, and essential services.”

“Eskom is required to use its emergency reserves during this period. Therefore, Stage 2 load shedding will resume at 17:00 on Friday, and come to a halt at 22:00 on Sunday. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.” | Eskom

PALPABLE FURY DIRECTED TOWARDS ESKOM

The move has elicited outrage online, and has drawn several prominent commentators into the debate. DA politicians, former Eskom executives, and some of SA’s most senior writers have lined up to take shots at the utility:

  • – “Singing for your supper. Embarrassing!” – DA Shadow Trade Minister, Dean Macpherson
  • – “So Loadshedding is a choice? I did not know this. South Africans are taken for a real ride” – Ex-Eskom CEO, Matshela Koko
  • – “Eskom and the government have just officially announced that blackouts are *not* an emergency response to failing infrastructure but that the national grid is switched on and off depending on the needs of politicians” – Tom Eaton

Load shedding on hold this afternoon but will be extended

Load shedding will be suspended between noon and 5pm on Friday to allow Parliament to pass a series of Appropriation Bills, Eskom said.

This followed a request from the Deputy Speak of Parliament.

The power cuts will resume at 5pm and continue until 10pm on Sunday.

 

 

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