NATIONAL NEWS - Eskom has announced that it will implement stage 2 load shedding between 22:00 and 05:00, starting on Wednesday night and continuing Thursday night.
Load shedding is being implemented to recover and preserve the emergency generation reserves that have been utilised to support the system during the week following the shutdown of Koeberg Unit 1 on Monday and other units whose return to service has been delayed, the power utility said in a statement.
Eskom announced on Monday that it had taken Koeberg Unit 1 offline for repairs after an increasing leak rate was observed on one of its three steam generators on Sunday.
The leak rate was within safety limits, Eskom said, but it had to take Unit 1 offline for repairs and routine maintenance and refuelling, which was originally scheduled to start in February. The unit is expected to return to service in May 2021.
Energy expert Ted Blom warned on Tuesday that the earlier maintenance of the plant would result in higher risks of load shedding as Eskom was constrained.
“Unit 1 generates 980MW that is now not available. So I expect the chances of load shedding to increase dramatically,” he said.
“Eskom teams are working around the clock to return as many of these units to service as soon as possible,” said the power utility.
It has urged the public to reduce electricity consumption.
“The system remains vulnerable and unpredictable. Load shedding is implemented as a last resort in order to protect the integrity of the system. As previously communicated, Eskom continues to implement reliability maintenance during this period, and thus the system will continue to be constrained and the risk of load shedding remains elevated.
“At the moment the equivalent of two large power stations is out for planned maintenance, adding pressure to the system. Eskom will communicate timeously should there be any significant changes to the power system.”