South Africa: Eskom ramps up emergency generation to maintain power
Alert for load shedding: Eskom ramps up emergency generation to maintain power
After some of Eskom’s generators failed over the weekend, South Africa’s power supply was running dangerously low by Wednesday morning.
The power utility is now struggling with an electricity shortfall of 12 000 MW due to these disruptions as well as unplanned maintenance.
Eskom said in a statement issued on Wednesday morning that while some of the units are back online, along with others that were down due to scheduled maintenance, they are not producing enough electricity to meet current demand.
Unplanned outages above 9 500 MW mean that by using open-cycle gas turbines and pumped-storage hydroelectric plants, Eskom will resort to emergency power generation. These are very expensive ways to generate electricity, particularly the gas turbines, which require large amounts of diesel. We can only be used for a short time before running out of fuel and water supplies.
Eskom has expanded its use of its pumped storage and diesel generators to keep the lights on since Monday. Extensive use has resulted in a decrease of pumped storage water and diesel rates and a concerted effort is being made to replenish such reserves, “said the company. Its emergency response command center is now attempting to replace diesel” to stop and/or, if necessary, mitigate load shedding.” “The probability of load shedding exists and any device change may result in load shedding.
Eskom urged customers to use power sparingly, by setting air conditioners’ average temperature at 23 degrees and switching off geysers.
Last month, South Africans suffered five days of load shedding after outages at five generating units. Eskom also resorted to emergency power generation, but when its diesel stocks started running low, it was forced to implement rotational power outages.
Reporter- Abraham Oluwadamilare (Mac Damilare)