A Grim Power Forecast: Stage 6 Load Shedding to Linger, Threatening Weekend Tranquility
South Africa’s power supplier, Eskom, has put forth a rather bleak forecast for the citizens: Stage 6 load shedding is set to mar the weekend’s peace and, worse yet, it will persist indefinitely. The key culprits, Eskom reports, are the amplified demand for electricity and the exhaustion of emergency reserves.
“The increase in the demand for electricity due to cold weather, particularly Monday and Tuesday, was anticipated – however, this demand exceeded what was forecasted,” Eskom noted.
The supplier also emphasized its commitment to maintaining generation reserves as a buffer against unexpected events. It’s these reserves that played a pivotal role on Monday and Tuesday to counterbalance the heightened power demand.
Drained Reserves and Lingering Cold: A Perilous Combination
However, the failure of additional generation units since Sunday has severely depleted these reserves, rendering them inadequate to counterbalance the continued impact of the cold weather or compensate for the lost generation.
“Therefore, stage 6 load shedding will continue to be implemented over the weekend to replenish the depleted emergency reserves to permit the possible reduction of load shedding in the coming week,” Eskom stated.
An unwavering Stage 6 load shedding will remain in effect until further notice, announced the utility.
Teetering on the ‘Worst-Case’ Scenario
The magnitude of breakdowns has swelled to an alarming 17,679MW of generating capacity. This trajectory threatens to thrust Eskom into its ‘worst-case’ scenario – a staggering 18,000MW, which could trigger Stage 7 or 8 load shedding.
Several units across Grootvlei, Hendrina, Lethabo, Tutuka, Arnot, Matla, and Kriel power stations have been out of service since Sunday. In addition, delays have been reported in returning units at Kendal and Tutuka power stations to service.
Despite these roadblocks, Eskom assures that its teams are working tirelessly, around the clock, to revive these units. “It is anticipated that eight units will be returned to service in the next few days.”
Eskom’s Appeal to the Public
In light of the surge in demand (up to around 34,000MW), Eskom urges the public to help in reducing demand, particularly between 17h00 and 21h00, identified as peak hours.