Renewable energy, diesel help Eskom stave off loadshedding

The power system has stabilised and there will be no loadshedding on Monday night, Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said.

Earlier on Monday Phasiwe had sent out a tweet warning that there is a risk of loadshedding given that the power system was constrained. 

Phasiwe sent out another tweet after 20:00 to give an update on the system, and said no loadshedding would be implemented, "despite a constrained national grid".

"Some units, including Kusile Unit 1, Kendal Unit 4 and Lethabo Unit 1, were brought back to service ahead of the evening peak, helping to stabilise the grid," the tweet read.

"Eskom also had to use diesel generators to stabilise the grid. Renewable energy sources also contributed a great deal, with wind adding 1 098MW to the energy mix. CSP (concentrated Solar Power) added 194MW. Thank you SA for also playing your part by managing your energy consumption during this period," Phasiwe tweeted.

Speaking to Fin24 by phone earlier Monday evening, Phasiwe said that the risk of loadshedding had been reduced as more units are coming back online. 

Some of Eskom's units were offline for planned maintenance, and others were offline due to "unplanned outages", Phasiwe said. The combination of unplanned and planned outages had resulted in a shortage of electricity, he explained.

Phasiwe also announced on twitter that Eskom's group executive of generation Thava Govender had tendered his resignation after 27 years of service to the power utility.

Although it is not known what Govender will do next, but Andrew Etzinger has been acting head.

Etzinger had been in the acting position since last week, when Govender was away for matters related to G015, of which he is the president, Phasiwe said.

Etzinger will continue to fulfill the role while Govender is on leave and an announcement of Govender's successor will be made in due course, Phasiwe said.

*UPDATE: The article was updated at 20:50 to reflect the change in the status of the power system.

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