Eskom announces Stage 6 blackouts in South Africa until further notice

  • On their X account feed (formerly Twitter), South Africa’s state owned and state run energy utility, Eskom, has announced this morning that in spite of returning two generating units to service over the last 24 hours, two generating units were also taken offline.
  • This combined with the need to replenish the pumped storage dams in preparation for the week ahead, has necessitated the implementation of Stage 6 loadshedding (blackouts) from midnight until further notice.
  • This means that households and business’s in South Africa will face rotational power outages of between 4 and 10 hours daily. 

On Thursday evening Eskom announced that due to the need to replenish the pumped storage dams, which are required to meet the morning and evening peak loads, and a generating unit that was taken offline for repairs over the past 24 hours, Stage 3 load-shedding (blackouts) will be implemented until further notice. They then upped the level to stage 4 a few hours later.

At the time they reported unplanned outages were at 15 958MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is at 6 771MW. This means that more than half of Eskom’s coal generation capacity of around 38000MW is out of service.

Eskom’s energy availability factor (EAF) is in a state of year on year decline. The EAF for the full 2023 calendar year dropped to 54.71%, compared to 58.11% for the full 2022 calendar year. Eskom has also confirmed that load-shedding will remain an be a daily occurrence throughout 2024.

Eskom System Operator outlook for load-shedding in South Africa for the next year. Image credit: Eskom

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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