Newcastillians, is Eskom planning load-shedding?

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As Eskom teams currently work on its systems, can Newcastillians expect any form of load-shedding?

Eskom has not implemented rotational load-shedding since Friday, November 8, and Newcastillians don’t have to fret about any power outages as yet.

However, Eskom’s system remains constrained and vulnerable, this means the probability of load-shedding remains if there is any unexpected shift. This is due to a generating plant performing at very low levels of reliability.

Furthermore, unplanned breakdowns remain marginally below 9 500MW.

In a statement issued by Eskom, the power utility claimed good progress was made over the weekend to replenish diesel for its open-cycle gas turbines, as well as increasing water levels at the pumped storage schemes.

The Emergency Response Command Centre (ERCC) is monitoring the system on the hour. After concluding the power system review at 5.30am this morning, Eskom confirmed that while the objective is not to implement load-shedding, the generating plant performance remains unpredictable.

Eskom reminds customers that any unexpected shift can result in load-shedding at short notice. An unexpected shift includes any further unplanned breakdowns; the unavailability of diesel for open cycle gas turbines or water levels at pumped storage schemes.

 On September 4, in Eskom’s Summer Plan, it was communicated that unplanned breakdowns above 9 500 MW require the use of emergency resources at a high rate.

This increases the probability of load-shedding, if the supply constraints continue for a long period of time.

With the system remaining unstable, Eskom’s technical teams are working to return units from planned and unplanned maintenance, as well as to replenish emergency reserves.

As technical teams work on the issue, Eskom claims a concerted effort to reduce demand can help to lessen the level of load shedding.  But how can we as Newcastillians assist in decreasing the chances of load-shedding and reducing the demand on the system?

Eskom has supplied the following tips:

•       Set air-conditioners’ average temperature at 23ºC

•       Switch off your geysers over peak periods

•       Use the cold water tap rather than using the geyser every time

•       Set your swimming pool pump cycle to run twice a day, three hours at a time for optimal energy use.

•       At the end of the day, turn off computers, copiers, printers and fax machines at the switch. Avoid standby or sleep mode.

Concluding, Eskom reminds all South Africans that load-shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort. This is to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

Eskom customers are advised to check load-shedding schedules on the Eskom website.

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