Eskom warns load shedding could return at short notice today

Power utility Eskom has warned that it might have to implement load shedding at short notice following a loss in generating capacity and a slow return of generating units to operation.

The group said that should load shedding be implemented, it will take place at stage 2 during the evening peak of 16h00 and 00h00. This could happen over three days, it said.

“The delay in returning a generation unit to service each at Arnot, Kusile and the Koeberg power stations, as well as the failure of a generation unit each at Medupi, Hendrina, Camden and two units at Majuba power stations, have exacerbated the capacity constraints,” it said.

Some generation units at other power stations are expected to return to service over the next few days, it said.

“Should there be any further loss of generation capacity over the next three days – or should units fail to return to service as anticipated – load shedding may be required to be implemented at short notice.”

Eskom suspended load shedding 10 days ago, following five weeks of intense rolling blackouts that hit as high as stage 6.

The period pushed president Cyril Ramaphosa to take drastic action and implement an energy crisis plan, which will see the government reduce red tape and fast-track new energy capacity builds to bolster the country’s energy sources.

The president’s Energy Crisis Committee on Monday (1 August) laid out a plan that will see the country add as much as 1,950MW of power to the grid over the next three months. However, analysts have stressed that this is not enough to cover Eskom’s immediate shortfall of 6,000MW.

Load shedding will remain a fixture in South Africa until this energy gap is closed.

Read: New plans for Eskom’s ‘unsustainable’ debt in South Africa

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