Stage 5 blackouts announced in South Africa

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  • South Africa’s state owned energy utility, Eskom, reports that due to the necessary increase in generation planned maintenance, from an average of 3 000MW in June to an average of 6 000MW in September, coupled with the recent multiple generation unit failures, Stage 5 loadshedding will be implemented from 16:00 today until 05:00 on Monday. 
  • This will be followed by Stage 4 loadshedding from 05:00 until 16:00 on Monday. 
  • This pattern will be repeated daily until further notice.

The increase in the stages of loadshedding is necessary to recover emergency generation reserves.  Eskom will publish another update should any significant changes occur. Breakdowns are currently at 16 572MW of generating capacity while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 6 287MW.

Over the weekend a generating unit at Duvha, Hendrina, Tutuka and two generating units at Kendal power stations were taken offline for repairs.  In the same period a generating unit at Arnot, Camden and Grootvlei power stations were returned to service.

Image credit: Eskom

Respected energy analysts, Chris Yelland from EE Business Intelligence, explains that graphs show Eskom energy availability factor (EAF) from week 1, 2021, to week 34, 2023. EAF for week 34, 2023, is 55.32%, compared to 61.10% for week 34, 2022. The EAF for the 2023 calendar year to date is 54.52%, compared to 59.78% for the same period in 2022

History tells us that the country can expect higher stages of loadshedding leading into year end.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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