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Eskom update: Summer holidays seem bright, low chance of outages

Eskom has stated that maintenance will continue throughout the year end holidays, however the prospect of load shedding remains low

In South Africa, the national power utility Eskom, has boasted that through team work and the public’s mindfulness of electricity consumption, the utility has achieved 99 consecutive days without power outages, apart from a 2-hour and twenty minute lapse in September.

Eskom update

Eskom addressed members of the public and the media this morning with a quarterly update on the current status of the power system.

Eskom Group Chief Executive, Brian Molefe, said that a big driver behind the reduction in load shedding was the newly implemented maintenance methodology, dubbed Tetris, which enables the utility to perform protective management of maintenance without load shedding.

Molefe said that the hiccup on 14 September was due to an “extreme incident” as there was a loss of a number of generating units in quick succession.

Molefe said that the utility continues to supply 100% of its portion to the nation, despite various units down for maintenance.

The utility is focusing on fast tracking the capacity build programme, with summer projected to have no cases of load shedding.

Renewable energy played a large role in meeting winter demand, contributing 1,300MW during the day, of which 800MW was from solar and 500MW was from wind.

Summer outlook

This summer has been forecast to be hotter than usual and the utility has called to consumers using air conditioning systems, to do so efficiently.

Molefe stressed that, if demand increases beyond available capacity, only then will stage one load shedding be implemented this summer—the utility is confident that this will not be the case.

The Chief Executive noted that the Tetris project has resulted in better predictability, enabling the utility to perform better maintenance on assets while limiting the need to implement load shedding.

He added that the capacity outlook from November 2015 to August 2016, is healthy and remains within the budgeted reserve.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.