South Africa’s electricity utility, Eskom, plans to implement a new load shedding schedule over the coming weekend, characterized by lower stages and continuing morning suspensions. However, load shedding will escalate to stage 1 during the daytime.
Friday’s Load Shedding
Eskom has announced that stage 3 load shedding will begin at 16:00 on Friday and will then be suspended at midnight.
On both Saturday and Sunday, Eskom will reinstate stage 1 load shedding at 05:00, lasting until 16:00. Following this, stage 4 load shedding will commence, extending until midnight.
Friday, 9 June
- Stage 3: 16h00 to 24h00
Saturday, 10 June & Sunday, 11 June
- Suspended: 00h00 to 05h00
- Stage 1: 05h00 to 16h00
- Stage 4: 16h00 to 00h00
Current Capacity Constraints
At present, Eskom is dealing with breakdowns that affect 16,546 MW of its generating capacity. Additionally, 2,497 MW of capacity is currently out for planned maintenance.
Over the past day, a unit each at Kendal and Lethabo, along with two units at Camden, were successfully restored to service. However, a unit at Arnot and Malta power stations each went offline due to breakdowns. Further delays were experienced in restoring a unit each at Arnot, Grootvlei, and Hendrina power stations, exacerbating capacity constraints.
Rationale Behind the Changes
In recent times, load shedding has been conducted at considerably lower stages, with blackouts suspended between midnight and 16:00. This strategy adjustment has primarily been driven by improved performance from Eskom’s units and a substantial reduction in planned maintenance outages.
Furthermore, energy experts have noted the positive impact of the colder weather, which allows the plants to operate more efficiently, and the continued burning of diesel to maintain generation levels.