Eskom says the power grid is constrained this week and the power utility is using emergency resources to keep the power on. Although additional technical problems could topple the country into loadshedding, this was unlikely, Eskom said in a media release on 5 November 2019.
In their statement this afternoon, Eskom said, “Since the past weekend, plant performance has deteriorated with unplanned breakdowns reaching a high of 12 500 MW before reducing to approximately 11 500 MW as at 10am today. Eskom is currently using emergency resources, being diesel and pumped water storage to keep the lights on.”
They expected several units to be returned to service today and tomorrow and had diesel reserves, so the probability of loadshedding remained low for the week; however, the system remained constrained until at least Thursday.
“We remind customers that any unexpected shift, such as additional unplanned breakdowns or the unavailability of diesel or pumped water storage reserves, could result in loadshedding at short notice.”
As per the utility’s Summer Plan issued on 4 September 2019, unplanned breakdowns above 9 500 MW require the use of emergency resources at a high rate (diesel and pumped water storage generators) and they increase the probability of loadshedding if the supply constraints are sustained for a long duration.
“Our summer maintenance programme is under way, and technical teams are working tirelessly to keep to schedule and bring back generating units from planned and unplanned maintenance,” Eskom said. “We continue to appeal to residents and businesses to use electricity sparingly. Please switch off geysers as well as all non-essential lighting and electricity appliances to assist in reducing demand.”