Main access tunnel
to Eskom’s Ingula
pumped storage
Cape Town, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 17 March 2010 – A decision has to be made this year about shoring up Eskom’s reserve margin “’ the buffer needed to ensure a reliable supply in emergencies and power overloads.

Saying this in parliament, Eskom divisional executive for systems and operations Kannan Lakmeeharan said time was running out to make the decision about adequate reserves if Eskom was to ensure power security after 2018.

The Eskom presentation said the government’s draft Integrated Resource Plan aimed to keep the reliable reserve close to or above 15% of capacity from 2013. Eskom’s total net generation is currently 40,870MW, of which about 85% is from coal-fired plants.

It added that it planned to bring 17,000MW of new capacity on line by 31 March 2018. More than 10,000MW of that capacity would come from three projects “’ Medupi coal-fired station, the Kusile power plant and the Ingula pumped storage station that will generate 1,332MW when it was commissioned in 2014.

Eskom’s reserve margin of 15% for the nine months to 31 December 2010 had risen from 5.6% on 31 March 2008, and there had been no load-shedding since then.