Power utility Eskom has announced that it will implement Stage 2 load shedding from 17:00 on Tuesday afternoon, until next week Monday (May 9), due to severe generation capacity constraints after nine generators broke down.
“This load shedding has been caused by a shortage of generation capacity owing to delays in returning generators to service, as well as breakdowns of nine generators,” Eskom says in a power alert released on Tuesday.
The troubled state-owned entity says it has since Monday seen a generator each at Lethabo, Tutuka, Ingula, Drakensberg and Arnot as well as two units each at Hendrina and Matla power stations break down.
Eskom further noted that the delay in returning generators to service at Arnot, Kendal and three units at Tutuka power stations is adding further strain to the grid.
“Eskom expects to return as many of these units to service as possible over the next few days. We also expect to rely on the use of emergency generating reserves to limit the stage of load shedding during this period.”
The utility currently has 3 875 megawatts (MW) of capacity out on planned maintenance, while a further 15 067MW of capacity has been lost due to breakdowns.
In mid-April, Eskom warned consumers that a cold and dark winter may lie ahead, saying that in the best case scenario consumers can expect 37 days of load shedding this winter and in the worst case scenario, more than a 100 days, as wet weather continues to pose a threat to the country’s power supply.
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