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Stage 2 Load Shedding in SA – Why & For How Long?

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Luis Monzon
Luis Monzon
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South Africa’s embattled power utility Eskom has announced a new round of rotational load shedding for the country.

Why is Load Shedding Back?

An initial announcement was made Monday afternoon, where Eskom said it would have to implement rotational load shedding due to breakdowns at Medupi Power Station, notably Medupi Unit 3, as well as tripping across Eskom’s grid.

“Since this morning, a unit at the Matla, Kendal, Matiba, Kusile and Grootvlei power stations tripped, while a unit each at Arnot and Hendrina power stations were forced to shut down,” Eskom said via statement posted on Twitter.

“This, in addition to other units that had tripped during the weekend, reduced available generation capacity, forcing Eskom to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves to keep the lights on.”

Eskom said at the time that total breakdowns amounted to 15,228MW in lost power to the grid, while planned maintenance also recused about 6,307MW of capacity.

The utility concluded the statement by saying that it expected some generation units to return to service over the next 24 hours.

How long will Load Shedding stay for this time?

However, a following statement issued on Tuesday morning shows that Eskom will not be extending the implementation of load shedding til the end of the week, only expecting blackouts to stop by 05:00 Saturday.

“Due to the unreliability of the generations, and to prevent a higher stage of load shedding, Stage 2 load shedding will continue to be implemented until 05:00 on Saturday 12 March,” this latest statement read.

Eskom says that its teams have managed to return four generation units to service since yesterday evening. Two other units had been taken offline for repairs since, however.

“A further two units are expected to return to service today while an additional four units are expected to return to service by the weekend,” Eskom says.

By Luis Monzon
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