Eskom announced that due to high unavailability of plants, they were unable to build needed reserves which have resulted in a high Stage 2 load shedding probability. Due to further shortages, load shedding will likely continue for longer than expected.
The power utility today said that many units expected to return to service did not, leading to load shedding possibly being extended in some parts of the country until as late as 10pm.
Eskom has apologised and asked consumers to be wise with their power usage over the next few days. A number of maintenance issues have led to the current level of load shedding.
A generation plant is currently under planned maintenance, which usually produces approximately 5000 MW as well as a large number of additional units – currently at approximately 10000 MW – on unplanned maintenance due to technical faults.
Cahora Bassa hydropower plant, which is located in Mozambique, is still supplying 700 MW less to the grid as a result of a damaged transmission line, which occurred late on Wednesday.
Over and above these challenges, Eskom is experiencing low diesel reserves due to the continued pressure on the national grid resulting in excessive usage of open-cycle gas turbines (OCGTs). The need to build emergency water and diesel resources to limit the negative impact of load shedding for the coming week also remains.
Eskom also urges residents to remember to treat all electrical points as live during load shedding.
Stage 2 calls for 2000MW to be shed nationally at a given period. Load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.
The City has also urged residents to be aware of the power they use and switch off energy hungry appliances today to reduce demand.
Locals can check their areas for load shedding on the schedule available on the Eskom website: http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za
Eskom customers can also contact their customer contact centre at 0860 037 566 with any queries.