Eskom suspends load shedding as demand drops

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Eskom announced on Friday that it will suspend load shedding as demand declined ahead of the weekend.

This after the power utility had implemented stage 2 load shedding between 10pm and 5am on Wednesday and Thursday, reports The Citizen.

Though load shedding has been suspended because the demand for electricity has dropped, Eskom still requested that South Africans continue use electricity sparingly as the system remained vulnerable.

“We will use the lower demand opportunity during the weekend to continue replenishing the emergency generation reserves in preparation for the expected higher demand during the coming week.

“In this period, Eskom will also continue to pursue reliability maintenance as planned and previously communicated. This will continue to put pressure on the generation plant going into the week.

“However, maintenance is necessary in order to improve the reliability and performance of the power stations.

“We currently have 6060MW of capacity on planned maintenance, while another 13,206MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns and other load losses. Eskom teams are working hard to return as many of these units to service as soon as possible. Eskom will communicate timeously should there be any significant changes to the power system.”

Eskom announced on Monday that it had taken Koeberg Unit 1 offline for repairs after an increasing leak rate was observed on one of its three steam generators on Sunday.

The leak rate was within safety limits, Eskom said, but it had to take Unit 1 offline for repairs and routine maintenance and refuelling, which was originally scheduled to start in February. The unit is expected to return to service in May 2021.

Energy expert Ted Blom warned on Tuesday that the earlier maintenance of the plant would result in higher risks of load shedding as Eskom was constrained.

“Unit 1 generates 980MW that is now not available. So I expect the chances of load shedding to increase dramatically,” he said.

Makhosandile Zulu