Citizen reporter
1 minute read
2 Apr 2020
2:03 pm

Eskom uses Covid-19 drop in electricity demand as chance to fix decrepit network

Citizen reporter

Due to the drop in demand for electricity as a result of the lockdown, Eskom has decided to double its maintenance schedule.

File image.

“With the Covid-19 lockdown in full effect, Eskom has experienced a significant reduction in demand for electricity. Electricity usage has dropped between 7,500 MW and 9,000 MW since the lockdown came into effect last week. This has allowed Eskom to operate without the need to implement load shedding,” explained the power utility in a statement.

Eskom has since decided to make use of the opportunity to carry out important short-term maintenance for their generation infrastructure.

“We have increased planned maintenance to 9,032 MW, while unplanned outages or breakdowns have been reduced to 8,572 MW as at 4.10pm on Wednesday.”

“This compares to planned maintenance of 4,256 MW and unplanned outages or breakdowns of 12,175 MW on 25 March 2020, the last day before the national lockdown.”

In addition to the units that have already been taken offline in an effort to “protect the integrity of the system”, Eskom will also take Koeberg Unit 2 offline on Friday at midnight.

The power utility assured the public that all these units are available to return to service at short notice should the need arise.

If it is not needed before then, Koeberg Unit 2 is only scheduled to come back online at the end of April.

Wind independent power producers have also been issued with a force majeure notice intended to alert them of the possibility that Eskom may, from time to time, curtail their supply to the grid during the lockdown period.

“Should this remote possibility happen, the IPPs will be afforded one day of relief for every day, or part thereof, of lost production.”

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(Compiled by Kaunda Selisho)

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