On Monday, South African parastatal Eskom, revealed that 3,535MW of power was lost last week due to multiple trips of units at three power stations.

The urgency to implement load shedding was avoided as a result of “the increased resilience that Eskom has built into the power system over the past eight months,” the utility proudly stated in a company statement.

[quote]Eskom claims to have a “robust plan” to ensure that performed maintenance has no impact on power supply.

“A key aspect of this includes having a strict winter and summer maintenance budget that comprises 8.5GW for winter and 11.5GW for summer,” the utility explained.

Adding: “This maintenance plan is managed through the Tetris planning tool, which schedule outages based on forecasted demand and maintenance requirements.”

Due to the low electricity demand coupled with excess generating capacity, the parastatal performed “opportunity” maintenance over the weekend.

“Monday morning’s capacity was 34,276MW. Unplanned outages are at 5,499MW, with partial load losses at 2,147MW as at 15:47,” Eskom said.

Winter maintenance plan full steam ahead

Officially starting on 1 April, Eskom’s winter maintenance plan will run until the end of August 2016.

“As a result, we have already started to ramp down planned maintenance and ramp up energy availability for the expected winter peak so that we will have sufficient capacity to meet demand whilst we still conduct the required maintenance on our power station units,” the utility explained.

The parastatal has stressed that weekend “opportunity” maintenance will be increased to ensure plant reliability and sustainability.

A similar plan was carried out during December 2015, the “Maintenance Festival”, which was a successful feat on both Eskom and the public’s part.

The public took cognisance of the severity of the power situation and used electricity sparingly to assist with the success of the maintenance festival.

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