Load shedding
  • Eskom is still projecting a couple of days of load shedding this winter, it told Parliament on Wednesday.
  • Its forecast, with an 80% probability, is for three days of stage 1 load shedding in July.
  • Economically, the utility says, turning off the power in winter is better than doing so in summer.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Thanks to the maintenance it got in during lockdown, there should be only a couple of days of load shedding this winter, Eskom told Parliament on Wednesday – down from the around a month of electricity interruptions it projected before the coronavirus arrived.

Eskom is now anticipating three days of stage 1 load shedding, it said, all during July, as long as it can keep its unplanned breakdowns and system losses to below 11,000MW.

"This is based on 80% probability," the utility told a parliamentary committee in a presentation on its system and corporate status.

But it simultaneously warned that the risk of load shedding still remains, "due to the unreliability and unpredictability of the system".

"This will be the reality until after the 18 months of reliability maintenance, which will last until August 2021."

Load shedding in winter doesn’t have the same economic impact as in summer, Eskom told Parliament. It is likely to turn off the lights only during the evening peak, between 17:00 and 20:00, which has less of an effect on businesses than doing so during working hours.

In winter, Eskom said, it does not call on large industrial customers to curtain their demand until stage 3 load shedding, which it does not anticipate.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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