10 September 2012 – Prior to a recent cold front in South Africa, Eskom informed that the national electricity system was tight due to warmer weather and increased maintenance. Then, in its most recent update, the utility said that the sudden cold snap across South Africa saw demand climb, while the performance of its power stations has been volatile.
Peak demand had been lower, in the region of about 32,000 MW, prior to the cold spell, and planned maintenance levels had been slightly higher than the 1,445 MW figure given on September the 6th. Either way, the system in South Africa remains tight and unplanned outage levels have been high, at 5,900 MW on the 6th of September and 6,429 MW on the 3rd of September.
Eskom continues to urge South Africans to save 10% of their electricity usage especially during peak periods, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. It says this will make it significantly easier to manage the power system during this challenging time, while also enabling it to do planned maintenance to ensure the reliability of its plant.