Possible weekend load shedding as Eskom loses 7 generating units

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Eskom lost as much seven generation units overnight, which has increased the likelihood of load shedding this weekend, the power utility said in an update issued on Saturday.

The power utility did not expect to implement load shedding this weekend, and it has not since February 22. On Friday it said unplanned breakdowns remained just under 11 000 MW, with planned maintenance at 5 240 MW. 

But the power utility suffered multiple generation unit trips overnight. "We lost seven generation units at four power stations - Duvha, Tutuka, Kriel and Grootvlei; due to various technical faults. The root causes of these incidents are being investigated and corrective measures to be implemented," Eskom said.

The loss of units has added strain on Eskom's reserve capacity.

"In order to rebuild our emergency reserves for the coming week, there is therefore an increased probability of implementing loadshedding tonight.

"Eskom is currently utilising expensive emergency generation reserves to supplement supply, which is unsustainable. The system remains constrained, vulnerable and unpredictable," Eskom said.

Unplanned breakdowns or outages were at 11 868MW on Saturday morning and planned maintenance outages were at 5 430MW.

Eskom asked consumers to use electricity sparingly and suggested keeping morning showers short, take food out of the freezer to thaw rather than using the microwave, and switch off geysers during peak periods. 

Compiled by Lameez Omarjee

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