South Africa: Power System Remains Vulnerable

13 November 2019

The power system remains constrained and vulnerable with generating plant performing at very low levels of stability.

"With unplanned breakdowns at 9 500MW as at 8am, the probability of load shedding remains, but will only be implemented if absolutely necessary. There is sufficient diesel for our open cycle gas turbines and water at the pumped storage schemes to supplement the shortage of capacity, if required," said Eskom on Wednesday.

It said the Emergency Response Command Centre (ERCC) continues to monitor the system closely.

Eskom wishes to remind customers that any unexpected shift, such as additional unplanned breakdowns or the unavailability of diesel for open cycle gas turbines or low water levels at the pumped storage schemes, could result in load shedding at short notice," it said.

As communicated in the power utility's Summer Plan on 4 of September 2019, unplanned breakdowns above 9 500MW require the use of emergency resources at a high rate and they increase the probability of load shedding if the supply constraints are sustained for a long period.

Eskom urged customers to assist by helping to reduce demand by using electricity sparingly.

It urged consumers to:

Set air-conditioners' average temperature at 23ºC.

Switch off your geysers over peak periods.

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 stand-by or sleep mode.

Customers are advised to check their load shedding schedules on the Eskom or municipal websites.

We remind customers that load shedding is conducted rotationally as a measure of last resort to protect the power system from a total collapse or blackout.

"We will continue to keep South Africans informed about the status of the electricity system," said Eskom.

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