Today makes seven in a row – Eskom load shedding continues

JOHANNESBURG, April 18 (Reuters) – South African power utility Eskom imposed rolling electricity cuts for the seventh straight day on Saturday, cutting 2,000 megawatts (MW), of its strained grid.

Africa’s most advanced economy is facing its worst electricity crisis since 2008 and its citizens are subjected to frequent controlled blackouts, which Eskom implements to prevent the grid from collapsing.

The utility said the cuts will come into effect from 0800 to 2200 local time.

South African power utility Eskom restarted rolling blackouts on Friday, the sixth straight day of power cuts to hit Africa’s most advanced economy.

A shopkeeper waits for customers in his candlelit  fast food store during a load shedding electricity blackout in Cape Town April 15, 2015.  South African power utility Eskom expanded rolling blackouts for a second straight day to the "Stage Three" level on Wednesday, meaning it needs to cut 4,000 megawatts from household and industrial consumers to prevent a grid collapse.    REUTERS/Mike Hutchings       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A shopkeeper waits for customers in his candlelit fast food store during a load shedding electricity blackout in Cape Town. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

South Africa is in the middle of its worst electricity crisis since 2008 and its citizens are subjected to frequent controlled blackouts, which Eskom implements to prevent the grid from collapsing.

The company said it would cut 1,000 megawatts of power from the grid from 0400 GMT until 2000 GMT.

For the full load shedding schedule for your area, click here.

From News24:

Cape Town – Eskom will resume power cuts for the sixth day in a row when it starts implementing stage 1 load shedding from 06:00 on Friday morning. This is likely to continue until 22:00 this evening, the utility said.

Load shedding started on Sunday and was kicked up a notch on both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon when Eskom moved to stage 3 as it continues to battle meet demand amid a maintenance backlog.

On Thursday it moved from stage 1 in the morning to stage 2 in the afternoon due to a further shortage of generation capacity as additional units have had to be taken out of service for unplanned maintenance caused by technical faults. Eskom said in a statement on Friday the electricity supply system remains very constrained and vulnerable due to a shortage of generation capacity. “Several units are currently out of service due to planned and unplanned outages.”

Eskom said load shedding is implemented as a necessary measure to protect the power system. “Any additional changes on the already vulnerable and constrained power system could lead to a change in the stage of load shedding at short notice.”The outlook for the next five days looks just as bleak as demand continuously outstrips supply. The outlook for the next week is:

Saturday (18 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 30 165 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 29 428 MW.Sunday (19 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 30 165 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 29 692 MW.

Monday (20 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 29 895 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 32 004 MW.

Tuesday (21 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 29 615 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 32 020 MW.

Wednesday (22 April): The capacity available to meet that evening’s peak demand is 29 615 MW (including open cycle gas turbines) while demand is forecast at 31 986 MW.

At a media briefing on Wednesday, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said South Africans should expect load shedding to be a way of life for at least the next two years. “There will be load shedding for the next two years,” she said. “It is time for South Africans and the economy to adapt to the situation and find a way to save electricity and manage their productivity during the few hours of load shedding when it occurs.”

Energy issues have been in focus during a week of harsh load shedding, with Brown briefing media on Wednesday about Eskom, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson making a major announcement regarding IPPs (independent power producers) and labour unrest rocking Medupi power station.- Fin24

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