The Citizen (KZN)

Lights to continue to stay on

- Citizen reporter

Load shedding will remain suspended until further notice, Eskom announced yesterday.

The country has not had rolling blackouts for 18 consecutiv­e days – the longest stretch so far in 2024.

Suspension of power cuts

According to Eskom, the suspension of the rolling blackouts was due to the sustained availabili­ty of generation capacity and emergency reserves at its power stations.

Another 2 150 megawatts of generation capacity was due to be restored by today.

Unplanned outages stood at 12 850MW of generating capacity. The capacity out of service for planned maintenanc­e stood at 7 368MW.

Planned maintenanc­e

Electricit­y Minister Kgosientsh­o Ramokgopa last week attributed the decrease in the intensity and frequency of load shedding to planned maintenanc­e. This signalled progress in energy stability.

Ramokgopa hinted that Eskom planned to leverage the extra capacity generated from wind energy to mitigate the impact of load shedding, starting in May.

“In winter, when a cold front passes through the Western and Eastern Cape, the wind generation increases significan­tly, so we are going to see a greater contributi­on from wind energy,” he said.

Eskom still anticipate­d allocating R30 billion for diesel procuremen­t for the current financial year.

He added in the next five months, SA would see more than 2 500MW of new generation coming on line.

EAF negatively impacted

Ramokgopa revealed in a parliament­ary response published last week that Eskom’s decision to intensify planned maintenanc­e had negatively impacted the energy availabili­ty factor (EAF), which stands at 52%.

However, this would improve plant reliabilit­y over the long term.

“The highest level of planned maintenanc­e was [in] December and January, reaching an average of 18% of the generation capacity. The downside was a negative impact on EAF.

“However, the deliberate spike in planned maintenanc­e aims to improve the reliabilit­y of the generation fleet, deliver long-term benefits and ensure the security of the energy supply.”

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