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Well, unless we live in Oppositeville, things are definitely getting worse for Eskom this week. The power utility on Thursday evening confirmed that Stage 2 load shedding will continue through Friday.
The chance of load shedding this weekend still remains “high”, but you already knew that didn’t you?
Date: 6 February 2020
Due to higher generating unit breakdowns, Stage 2 rotational loadshedding will continue on Friday, with a high probability of loadshedding over the weekend pic.twitter.com/CugP9qsTX1
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) February 6, 2020
Eskom loses even more capacity
More worrying is the steady increase of unavailable capacity.
At 5pm Wednesday, Eskom was unable to utilise 11 857 MW (megawatts) of its capacity due to unplanned outages. At 5pm Thursday, that number jolted to 13 217 MW. Eskom lost 1360 MW in just 24 hours.
This left South Africa with just 30 867 MW available around Thursday’s evening peak, or around 70% of Eskom’s total installed capacity.
On Thursday, the utility noted that power demand topped out at 30 000 MW on Thursday too, which would’ve brought the grid incredibly close to its limits if load shedding was not implemented.
Eskom has largely met demand by burning diesel and utilising its pumped storage schemes, but will likely have to implement load shedding this weekend to replenish these reserves.
Understandably, the news of more load shedding was met with criticism by the public.
Remember when we had electricity?
Yeah neither do I
— Calrin (@calrin3) February 6, 2020
The E in South Africa stands for Electricity
— MPDZA (@mpdjhb) February 6, 2020
How on earth with “maintenance teams working around the clock” were you able to INCREASE unplanned breakdown from 9.800 to 13.217 in two days. Have they been instructed to destroy rather than repair.
— MichaelGH (@MichaelGH19) February 6, 2020
— Ashleigh (@Ashleigh2104) February 6, 2020
That last tweet neatly sums up the collective online sentiment towards Eskom this week.
When is your city or municipality load shedding?
We’ve compiled a list of schedules for the country’s largest cities and municipalities right here. Be sure to bookmark this little resource.
Best UPS units in South Africa
If you need a battery backup to get you through the dark, we take a look at some of the highest used-rated UPS units on sale in South Africa. Peruse the article here.
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn