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Stage 4 load shedding after Koeberg unit trips

Eskom says loss of approximately 930MW has put further strain on its generation fleet.
Unit 1 at Koeberg nuclear power plant near Cape Town tripped, forcing Eskom to escalate load shedding from stage 2 to stage 4 on Tuesday afternoon. Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Embattled state power utility Eskom upped load shedding on Tuesday afternoon from stage 2 to stage 4, after a unit at its Koeberg nuclear power plant in Cape Town tripped.

“Load shedding will move to Stage 4 from 2pm this afternoon after Koeberg Unit 1 tripped. The unit has been disconnected from the grid due to a fault on the turbine side, however the nuclear reactor remains safe,” it said in a statement just before 2pm.

“The teams are investigating the root causes of the fault, and will advise of the remedy as soon it is established.” It added that the loss of a unit of approximately 930MW puts further strain on the generation fleet, necessitating a higher stage of load shedding.

Read: Eskom’s load shedding ‘philosophy’ is nonsensical

Stage 4 power cuts allow for up to 4 000MW to be shed from the national grid, according to Eskom’s website. Stage 2 allows for up to 2 000MW to be shed.

As its ageing fleet is currently “constrained, unpredictable and vulnerable”, Eskom reiterated on Tuesday that the stages of load shedding may change at short notice, should there be any unexpected change in the generation system performance. It also noted that demand has risen incrementally since January.

The utility urged South Africans to co-operate in managing electricity consumption to help it minimise load shedding.

* Load shedding schedules can be viewed on the Eskom website at https://loadshedding.eskom.co.za or on local municipal websites, depending on a customer’s electricity supplier.

Read: Eskom gets Sheriff to attach Emfuleni assets

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On the one end, you have an “ageing fleet” of power stations, and in the other corner we have new-built Medupi & Kusile that has numerous design faults….(plus multiple cost overruns) that may possibly run worse than the old fleet?

But I’m unnecessarily concerned….since all our pension funds “deep capital markets” will sort out SOE debt in a jiffy. From R4-6trillion available, there still plenty of national monies for cadres to waste & enjoy feeding at the BEE trough.

Ja wel no fine, you can rely on Eskom … to switch the power off

Bought an inverter 5 years ago, and have now finally just replaced its 4 deep-cycle batteries. They cost R9600, but worth every penny as my computer, router, garage door, lights in lounge and bedrooms, solar heating water pump in ceiling and 2 fridges all are powered for up to 6 hours without any interruption. Or I can decide to switch off a fridge for a couple of hours and have my TV on as well. TIA, deal with it.

Total cost? Ive got some lights and batteries for the router. Looking for something for pc and fridges

@jblack – 5 years ago the whole setup cost R34K including all the wiring to about 7 different plugs around the house. But you can get a decent pure sine wave inverter today plus 4 deep cycle batteries for abt R22K, excluding the wiring to separate plugs. Lithium batteries are better for long lifespan but still very expensive, so I opted for 4 Royal 102Ah deep cycle non-top-up batteries which should last abt another 5 years depending on usage. If you are in Jhb, Sinetech did a great job; a guy called Duane helped me.

@Dougalan I like the deep cycle batteries for safety reasons still. I’ve had a few too many fire scares with lithium for me to leave them unattended and be an early adopter. Thanks for the info, will check it out/

Oh no! We have to rely on Capetonians with their lack of urgency to fix this.

They are stuck in their 24/7 traffic jams…

What is wrong with Eskom all last week they crowed as to how good they are at averting load shedding day by day. Then this week all hell breaks loose with units going down and also Koeberg as a sweetener just to let us know that the unit still exists. The way Eskom are going they soon won’t have to look to generating any power as most households will switch to gas and solar. Medupi and Kusile are there merely to provide lottery tickets to wealth and great fortunes for all the government cadres

When is Gwede passing the law for mines and municipalities to generate their own electricity? WTF cANCer?

That is apparently at Nersa for approval process which may take another 6 months.

Also apparently Nersa is not changing Schedule 2 so each mine still has to apply for a license and the “fica” on that takes a further minimum 120 days but in practice 12 months.

This is such total BS. Govt depts like Nersa and people like Gwede Mantashe need a swift kick up the backside. This is 2020 not 1820 where everything had to be done by legotla with everybody first having an endless long waffle. Then appointing another commission to take it on a bit further. ANC, you really, really need to come up to date. Things happen fast in this modern world. At the next election I will happily back a party that actually appoints competent ethical people that get things done, and not just swan around in big black car convoys trying to look important while actually doing nothing.

Surely some heads must roll? At least kick those two tired reds into retirement, Pravin and Gwede. It was on their watch that all the stealing and cadre deployment happened.

It’s an interesting KPI in a way……One can determine the health of Eskom’s fleet by how long they can run without rotational blackouts. Seems to be getting shorter and shorter.

And the continual problem is we make excuses for these failures and then learn to live around them.

With the ANC running the show, Koeberg is a Chernobyl waiting to happen!!
Then there will be a shortage of fans, for sure!

Ja, but remember nuclear and coal are baseload generation, whereas wind and solar only work when the wind blows and sun shines.

:/

It would seem to me that coal and nuclear capacity unavailable (planned and unplanned maintenance plus known unknowns and unknown knowns) is in energy demand timing output terms about same as wind….

End of comments.

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