Eskom announced on Monday evening that it had implemented stage 1 load shedding after managing to keep the country’s lights on for five weeks.
It is said that the power system was stable for most of the day today although it was constrained and this enabled Eskom to perform maintenance without the need for load shedding. The power utility said Eskom has implemented stage 1 load shedding from 7pm until 10pm due to a shortage of generation capacity due to power station units being on maintenance and increased electricity demand.
At the weekend, Eskom cautioned that it would undertake planned maintenance on the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric scheme together with Hidroelectrica de Cahora Bassa. Eskom said, “As a result‚ South Africa will get 650MW instead of the 1‚500MW that is normally imported from Cahora Bassa on a daily basis. This maintenance is expected to be completed on Sunday‚ 20 September, and the scheme is expected to be back on full power on Monday‚ 21 September.”
Furthermore, it is said that the power system would be tight‚ particularly from Tuesday to Friday over the evening weekday periods.
Eskom added that its emergency reserves will be utilised to augment the capacity shortfall as a result of this planned outage.
Eskom also pointed out that the usage of electricity becomes high for most of the day predominantly due to the increased usage of air-conditioners‚ geysers and pool pumps as the weather begins to warm up.
Eskom said in a statement on Monday that it would like to assure customers that the implementation of load shedding is a necessary measure to protect the power system and to ensure that maintenance is carried out in order to guarantee that the supply of electricity can be maintained in the long term.
Eskom continued to say, “Any unexpected changes on the vulnerable and constrained power system could lead to a change in the load shedding stage at short notice.”