Eskom Edges Closer to Ending Load Shedding, Reaches 65.5% EAF

CAPE TOWN, May 2, 2024— Eskom, South Africa’s main electricity provider, has made a substantial stride towards resolving the nation’s prolonged energy crisis, achieving an Energy Availability Factor (EAF) of 65.5% on Wednesday, a performance level last seen in 2021. This milestone indicates a significant turn in the battle against load shedding, which has plagued South African homes and businesses for years.

Milestone Achievement:

  • Historic EAF Level: Eskom’s attainment of a 65.5% EAF is a testament to its aggressive maintenance-led recovery strategy, according to Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister in the Presidency for Electricity.
  • Strategic Improvements: This marks an important victory in the power utility’s efforts to enhance its fleet’s reliability and efficiency.

Upcoming Capacity Enhancements:

  • New Additions: The next six months are expected to see the return of key units—Medupi Unit 4 (800MW), Koeberg Unit 2 (980MW), and the synchronization of Kusile Unit 6 (800MW)—adding a total of 2,580 MW to the grid.
  • Rooftop Solar Initiatives: The ongoing state-incentivized rooftop solar projects aim to reach an installed capacity of 6,000MW by year-end, contributing significantly to national energy needs.

Government and Eskom’s Role:

  • Policy Reforms: A suite of comprehensive reforms has spurred private sector investment in new generation capacity, crucial for achieving energy independence.
  • Public Assurance: “We have indeed turned the corner, the ending of load shedding is within touching distance,” affirmed Minister Ramokgopa.

Operational Highlights:

  • Consecutive No Load Shedding Days: Eskom reported 35 straight days without load shedding, a direct result of improved operational efficiencies.
  • Unplanned Capacity Loss: The utility also noted a significant reduction in unplanned outages, with the Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF) currently standing at approximately 10,966 MW.
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Looking Ahead:

  • Eskom remains committed to sustaining these improvements through diligent management and strategic planning. The power utility is poised to bolster its capacity further, ensuring a more stable and reliable energy supply for South Africa.

As the country approaches a turning point in its energy management saga, both government and Eskom underscore their commitment to ending load shedding, backed by tangible improvements and upcoming projects that aim to fortify the national grid.

Stay Updated:

  • Eskom and the Ministry for Electricity promise ongoing updates and are scheduled to provide another system status report by Wednesday, 10 April 2024, reflecting the continuous efforts to stabilize and enhance South Africa’s power supply.

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