Eskom suspends loadshedding for 59 consecutive days and assures no loadshedding on voting day

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  • South Africa’s state owned energy utility, Eskom, has announced that loadshedding (blackouts) remains suspended until further notice, which includes the period of voting day on Wednesday 29 May 2024, due to the continued structural improvement in the reliability of the generation fleet.

Loadshedding has currently been suspended for 59 consecutive days. The last time South Africa experienced such an extended suspension of loadshedding was the period between 5 December 2021 and 2 February 2022.

The Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Plan, initiated in March 2023, along with extensive planned maintenance, continue to deliver the improved availability and reliability of the generation fleet. The results are increasingly seen in the reduction of Unplanned Capacity Loss Factor (UCLF) or unplanned maintenance.

Reduction in unplanned outages

 The UCLF remains at 28.37% in the financial year to date (1 April 2024 to 23 May 2024) and has significantly reduced from 35.5% recorded in the same period last year (1 April 2023 to 23 May 2023).

Steady EAF improvement

  • The year-to-date EAF increased to 60.61% from previous week. This is a significant 8.2% improvement compared to the same period last year (1 April 2023 to 23 May 2023), where the EAF was 52.4%.
  • The EAF improvement is a direct result of a 7.00% drop in the unplanned outages of generation units.
  • The daily EAF has been maintained at an average of 61.3 %.

Planned Maintenance 

  • The current planned maintenance of 4 769MW is consistent with our maintenance plans for this winter. 

No increased usage of Open-Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGTs) 

  • OCGT usage is significantly lower compared to the same period for the past two years (financial year to date 1 April 2024 to 23 May 2024).
  • The OCGT load factor for 1 May to 23 May 2024 has decreased significantly to 4.82% compared to last year’s figure of 22.57% over the same period.
  • From 1 April 2024 to 23 May 2024, Eskom spent R1.51 billion on OCGTs, producing 209.43 GWh. This is about 75% less than from 1April 2023 to 23 May 2023 when R6.1 billion was spent to produce 979.90GWh. 

Winter 2024 outlook maintained. 

  • Eskom published on Friday 26 April 2024 its winter outlook which remains in force.
  • Currently, our generation performance continues to surpass the winter forecast for this year, which anticipated a likely scenario of unplanned outages at 15 500MW, with load shedding limited to Stage 2.

A total of 4 260MW of generating capacity is planned to be returned to service by Monday 27 May 2024.

Eskom’s evening peak demand tonight, Friday 24 May 2024 is 27 545MW.

Appeal to avoid unnecessary disruption at power stations.

Eskom expresses concern over recent disruptions affecting its normal operations at some of its power stations. In light of this, Eskom appeals to members of the public to exercise restraint and refrain from actions that could exacerbate the situation. Failure to do so may have dire consequences, including potential impacts on the security of power supply. Eskom remains committed to providing reliable electricity, but it requires the support and cooperation of all citizens.

Demand-side management (DSM)

As May is the energy-saving month, Eskom expresses gratitude to those who heed the call to use electricity sparingly and efficiently. This includes switching off geysers and pool pumps from 17:00 to 21:00, which lowers demand and helps alleviate pressure on the power system, contributing to lower stages of loadshedding.

Source: Eskom


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