Is there load shedding on Christmas and New Year’s day?

eskom loadshedding forecast predict

If you’re asking if there will be load shedding on Christmas and New Year’s day, the answer is most likely.

Eskom in its 52-week status outlook indicates that the national power utility is most likely to have a generation shortage which warrants at least stage 1 load shedding between December 19 and 25 December.

As Eskom buckles through and past the festive season planned generation supply remain necessary to avoid a slingshot effect of power outages.

Load shedding will be reduced to Stage 3 at 5 am on Monday with Stage 2 likely to be implemented on Tuesday until further notice this week, a rocky start into most people’s incoming leave days.

The weekend saw stage 4 load shedding implemented until Monday morning.

Load shedding has been reduced to stage 3, with stage 2 implemented until further notice from Tuesday.

Eskom will publish further updates as they become available although Christmas and New Year’s day, are both likely to have some power cuts issue should enough reserves fail to be generated.

Recurring power cuts are a result of a high number of breakdowns and the requirement to preserve the remaining emergency generation reserves while creating space to replenish the dam levels of the pumped storage schemes.

Both Grootvlei and Matimba power stations were taken offline for repairs over the weekend.

Kriel power station was returned to service.

There is currently 6 392 MW on planned maintenance while 16 318 MW of capacity is unavailable due to breakdowns.

“Due to the depletion of the budget to acquire diesel for the open cycle gas turbines, Eskom has been forced conserve the remainder of the fuel reserves to protect against further unplanned outages,” Eskom said in a statement.

Refueling and maintenance outages as well as long term operation project of unit 1 of the Koeberg Nuclear power station with the October chimney failure – that forced three generation units to go offline – have resulted in the reduction of generation capacity and the increased occurrence of power outages for the next 6 to 12 months.

Under Eskom’s planned risk scenario it plans on keeping the lights on most of the time during the festive season, despite it’s current operational challenges.

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Marcus Gopolang Moloko
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