In mid-May, several days passed when peak power demand in South Africa outstripped supply, even after the use of diesel fired open cycle gas turbine peakers. This implies power interruption agreements were invoked to prevent load shedding during those days.

On Thursday the 15th of May Eskom reported that the capacity available to meet this evening’s peak demand was 32,000 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand was forecast at 33,311 MW. On that day planned maintenance stood at 2,300 MW while unplanned outages stood at 8,500 MW.

On Wednesday the 14th of May, peak demand was 33,299 MW while the available capacity was 32,450 MW. On Tuesday, the 13th of May, peak demand was 33,057 MW, compared with an available capacity of 32,913 MW.

Thus South Africa’s electricity system remains extremely fragile going into winter, with any further significant unexpected outages (and no improvement in the current outage situation) likely to lead to load shedding protocols being invoked.

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