Eskom is once again switching off the lights for South Africans, although this time it’s implementing Stage 3 load shedding. It began at 1pm Wednesday afternoon and is scheduled to last until 6am tomorrow.
“This load shedding is necessary as the power generation system is still severely constrained due to high generation unit breakdowns during the past three days, as well as the need to replenish diminishing emergency generation reserves,” the State-owned utility said on Wednesday.
According to Eskom, the outlook for the power system is unpredictable and there is a high probability of power outages continuing on Thursday.
“This morning a generation unit each at the Lethabo, Kendal and Duvha power stations were taken offline for repairs, adding to the high number of breakdowns and units that have failed to return to service as planned.”
The utility said it was currently running at 4 858MW on planned maintenance, while another 14 521MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns and delays.
What does Stage 3 Load Shedding mean?
According to Eskom, Stage 3 means that it allows for up to 3000 MW of the national load to be shed. (Stage 2 allowed for up to 2000 MW and Stage 1 up to 1000 MW.) Eskom says the frequency of load shedding increases as higher Stages are used. So while Stage 2 doubled the frequency of Stage 1, Stage 3 “will increase the frequency of Stage 2 by 50%”.
Not such a bright light at the end of the tunnel just yet
Eskom said load shedding remains a high possibility as reliability maintenance is performed during this period, as the system will continue to be constrained.
As usual, “Eskom requests the public to continue using electricity sparingly as the system remains vulnerable and unpredictable.”
Sources: Eskom and SAnews.gov.za