Cape Town - If the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has its way, a new load shedding system up to 16 scheduled blackout stages could replace the current load shedding stages.
In the proposed new load shedding regime, which Nersa has published on its website for public comment, the specific reduction in load required to stabilise the system under a national supply constraint would be dictated by the prevailing power system conditions.
The public and other stakeholders have been invited to access the proposals, officially known as NRS 048-9 Edition 3, on the website and are free to comment on them until September 22.
Nersa’s proposals would see the system operator allowed to insist that power distributors drop their demand by between 5% and 80%, depending on the declared load shedding stage.
Each stage would reflect increments of 5% versus the demand, meaning that Stage 1 would cut off enough users to compensate for 5% of total demand, and Stage 16 would cut off enough users to compensate for 80%.
Under the current system, Stage 1 of load shedding is equal to a 1 000MW demand reduction, regardless of the total load at the time of its implementation, Stage 2 allows for up to a 2000MW demand reduction, while Stage 3 permits up to 3000MW, and so on.
In its notice, Nersa said it had not yet formulated any opinions on these key aspects of the draft but had brought them up to enable stakeholders and the public to give their opinions and input.
Meanwhile, Eskom has announced that in a bid to replenish emergency reserves, there would be two stages of load shedding implemented throughout the day. Stage 1 load shedding will be in place between 5am and 4pm on Tuesday, giving way to Stage 3 from 4pm to 5am until further notice.
On Monday, Eskom spokesperson Daphne Mokoena said, “Over the past 24 hours, generating units at Camden, Duvha, Kriel and Lethabo power stations were returned to service.
“In the same period, a generating unit at Tutuka and two generating units at Kendal power station were taken offline for repairs.”
She said the delay in returning to service a generating unit at Kendal, Matimba and Tutuka power stations had contributed to the constraints.