Weekend cold front may lead to increased demand for electricity and power cuts, says Eskom
While load-shedding has been suspended, Eskom has warned the cold front expected at the weekend may result in increased demand for electricity, adding to capacity constraints.
The power utility said the generation system remains constrained and stage 2 load-shedding might be implemented at short notice on Friday and at evening peak times over the weekend.
“This is due to a shortage of generation capacity owing to breakdowns and delays in returning some generating units to service. We urge all South Africans to continue using electricity sparingly.”
Unit 2 of the Koeberg nuclear power station was safely shut down in accordance with operating procedures on Friday morning.
“During routine testing of the control rod mechanism on the unit, one of the control rods developed a mechanical problem. To rectify this, the unit has been safely shut down in accordance with safe nuclear operating procedure and nuclear regulations. It has not yet been determined how long the repairs will take, but could be up to five days, whereafter the unit will ramp up over three days.”
Eskom said the breakdown of two generation units at Hendrina power station and the delay in returning a generating unit each at Kendal, Komati, Kusile and Tutuka power stations during the past 24 hours have put severe strain on the system.
“During the same period, Eskom teams have returned to service a generating unit each at Kriel and Matla power stations. Eight generating units are expected to return to service by Monday evening. We have 4,526MW on planned maintenance, while another 14,574MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.”
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