Load shedding pi­lot project


The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Te­bogo Tsh­wane

Power util­ity says pro­gramme can only be tested on day-by-day ba­sis.

Eskom an­nounced yes­ter­day it would be im­ple­ment­ing stage 2 load shedding from 9am to­day un­til at least Thurs­day at 6am, and also said a de­ci­sion had been taken to switch all the lights back on be­tween 4pm and 6pm in or­der to al­low peo­ple to drive home from work.

Load shedding would then re­sume from 6pm un­til 6am.

The util­ity said this was a pi­lot pro­gramme and could only be tested on a day-by-day ba­sis. Eskom will im­ple­ment load shedding due to a short­age of ca­pac­ity and to re­plen­ish emer­gency re­serves.

“Load shedding is nec­es­sary due to a short­age of ca­pac­ity and to re­plen­ish emer­gency re­serves dur­ing this week,” Eskom said in a state­ment.

Eskom’s new chief ex­ec­u­tive, An­dre de Ruyter, hopes to re­gain South Africa’s trust by ad­dress­ing op­er­a­tional sta­bil­ity. This in­volves an 18-month main­te­nance plan that is aimed at restor­ing the util­ity’s abil­ity to en­sure re­li­able and con­sis­tent en­ergy sup­ply.

Hot on the heels of Eskom an­nounc­ing re­newed load shedding the night be­fore, De Ruyter in­formed the me­dia on Fri­day about the ethos of the plan, which in­volves re­turn­ing to “phi­los­o­phy main­te­nance”. This means Eskom will be con­duct­ing strict main­te­nance on its power gen­er­a­tion fleet in line with the man­u­fac­turer guide­lines, as op­posed to the piece­meal ap­proach it had adopted.

The new plan would be im­ple­mented within the next three months, said De Ruyter, and would en­sure that Eskom got a han­dle on un­pre­dictable plant break­downs, which led to the ex­pen­sive use of diesel to pro­duce elec­tric­ity, as well as load shedding.

“If we don’t im­ple­ment this plan, there is a risk that the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in our sys­tem per­for­mance will con­tinue,” he said.

Eskom has a thresh­old of 9 500 megawatts (MW) for un­planned plant break­downs, but over the past three months has had be­tween 10 000MW and 13 500MW in lost ca­pac­ity, leav­ing the sys­tem un­der strain.

Giv­ing an up­date on the state of Eskom’s sys­tem, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Jan Ober­holzer said Eskom had to in­sti­tute 21 days of load shedding since Septem­ber, when its sum­mer plan was an­nounced. For the year to date, Eskom’s un­planned out­ages have been higher than an­tic­i­pated, record­ing 471 trips from a tar­get of 420, while its en­ergy avail­abil­ity fac­tor was lower than the 71.5% tar­get, at merely 68%. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Cit­i­zen re­porter

Load shedding is nec­es­sary due to a short­age of ca­pac­ity

Hen­nie Ferreira Osi­don chief ex­ec­u­tive

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