File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

National power grid 'tight' as economy picks up

By Staff Writer Time of article published Jan 28, 2020

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Cape Town – With the country's economy really getting going again this week, Eskom has cautioned that the national power system is tight.

The power utility had to resort to using its diesel turbines this morning to supplement capacity and prevent load shedding.

This was stated on Tuesday by Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning MEC Anton Bredell, who urged consumers to work with Eskom and reduce electricity demand.

Eskom is working hard to reduce the number of unplanned outages across its fleet of power stations to a manageable level of 9 500 MW – at which level load shedding becomes less of a likelihood.

Bredell said Eskom needs space on its grid to enable it to do the maintenance necessary to address the problems in its fleet.

“Unplanned outages – which are unpredictable – hit levels of 13 337 MW this morning, which is 3 837 MW higher than what is considered ideal. The lower these unplanned outages can get to, the better.

“If we all do our part to reduce electricity, we will lessen the demand on Eskom, thereby providing the space Eskom needs to fix the system. It is in our combined best interest to help Eskom and prevent load shedding as far as possible.” 

Bredell has also called on the national government to act now to allow municipalities like the City of Cape Town to start buying electricity from independent power producers.

“The City of Cape Town has been requesting such permission repeatedly from the National Minister of Energy since 2015, but has had no luck and must still buy its electricity from Eskom. 

"The City has now taken the matter to court. We want to ask the Minister of Energy to urgently reconsider the national government’s position, given the precarious nature of our electricity grid and to smooth the way for municipalities to procure additional electricity wherever they can.”

Cape Times

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