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Capacity is still vulnerable

There was a high probability of Stage 1 rotational load shedding from 9am until 10pm Friday, but no load shedding was anticipated for Saturday, Eskom said last week.

From Monday until Thursday, there remained a high probability that Stage 2 load shedding would be implemented to “deal with the anticipated rise in electricity demand during the week while our maintenance teams are tirelessly working round the clock to return generating units back online”.

However, there would be no load shedding from next week Friday until January 13 next year.

“The main reason for this is the expected decrease in electricity demand as industries and businesses close for the festive break. However, the heavy rains normally experienced over the December period could impact coal handling and thus impact generation production.

“We continue to warn customers that while no load shedding is anticipated during this period, the power system remains vulnerable and any shift could result in rotational load shedding.

“Supply interruptions due to localised power outages could also occur.

“We have been using emergency resources to balance the system for a while and most recently to limit the extent and duration of load shedding.

“This includes using diesel-run open cycle gas turbines, which is not a financially sustainable solution. We have also used pumped storage stations, which use water to generate electricity, to supplement capacity and to minimise the magnitude of load shedding. During this period, Eskom also engaged with its industrial customers to allow us to reduce their supply,” Eskom said.

Consumers are encouraged “to assist by using electricity efficiently by switching off non-essential appliances”.

The Saturday Star