SA woke up on Friday to confirmation of more load-shedding after a night of rolling blackouts, as Eskom grappled with plant breakdowns and replenished its emergency reserves.
“As a result of further unplanned breakdowns, critically low water levels at our pumped storage schemes and the need to manage diesel reserves, stage 2 load-shedding will continue until 5am [on Friday] when the situation will be reviewed,” Eskom said on Thursday night.
“As the system is severely constrained, with unplanned breakdowns above 12,500MW, the possibility of load-shedding remains very high throughout the day.”
On Friday morning the power utility confirmed in an update that stage 2 load-shedding would resume at 9am until 6am on Saturday.
Rotational power cuts were implemented at short notice on Thursday from 4pm. The power cuts were suspended at 5am on Friday.
After 11 years of construction, currently, as we speak, not a single generator unit at @Eskom_SA's massive 4800 MW Kusile power station is running, Unit 3 is expected back tomorrow after tripping today, and Unit 1 is off for repairs. The other units are still under construction.
— Chris Yelland (@chrisyelland) December 5, 2019
Eskom deputy spokesperson Dikatso Mothae told the SABC early on Friday: “We are having our emergency meeting and we’ll be in a better position to advise on how the rest of the week and the weekend will look like in terms of the load-shedding.”
Eskom has, since Monday, experienced an increase of more than 1000MW in demand and an increase in unplanned outages above 9,500MW.
“With the loss of additional units during the day, Eskom had to implement rotational load-shedding at short notice, to protect the power system from a total collapse. Coal handling at our power stations are currently not impacted by the rainy weather conditions, but there could be a further impact to power supply if the rain persists.
“We are utilising emergency diesel and water reserves at our open cycle gas turbines and hydro pumped storage schemes respectively to keep load-shedding at a minimum. While we have sufficient diesel reserves, there is a need to replenish water reserves at our pumped storage schemes later today and over the weekend.”
Energy analyst Chris Yelland tweeted that units had tripped, were under construction, undergoing maintenance or being repaired at Kusile and Medupi power stations.