Eskom is not load shedding today as additional units have returned. If you're experiencing power outage contact your electricity provider.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) November 3, 2014
“If customers experience power outages during this period, we advise that they contact their electricity providers as it could be a localised problem,” the utility said.
“The risk of load shedding has reduced significantly and the prognosis for the week is better than expected. The system will be under extreme pressure on Wednesday and Thursday as the water reserves that we built up over the weekend for our peaking plants will be depleted.”
After the collapse of a coal storage silo at Eskom’s Majuba power station in Mpumalanga, the power utility warned that load shedding could be implemented.
But what does this mean?
Google defines load shedding as: action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.
The City of Cape Town said load shedding was a measure of last resort to prevent the collapse of the power system country-wide.
“When there is insufficient power station capacity to supply the demand (load) from all the customers, the electricity system becomes unbalanced, which can cause it to trip out country-wide (a blackout), and which could take days to restore,” the municipality explained.
“When power is insufficient, Eskom can thus either increase supply or reduce demand to bring the system back into balance. As the difference between supply and demand becomes small, we refer to the system becoming ‘tight’.”
This was said to imply that action had to be taken to prevent the system from becoming unstable.
Eskom said load shedding is used under emergency conditions for limited periods.
Three schedules had been developed based on the possibility of risk and to ensure that it is applied in a fair and unbiased manner.
Stage 1: allows for up to 1 000MW of the national load to be shed.
Stage 2: allows for up to 2 000MW of the national load to be shed.
Stage 3: allows for up to 4 000MW of the national load to be shed.
Damage to the central coal storage silo at the Majuba power station led to the loss of 1 800MW.
Eskom group executive for sustainability Steve Lennon told reporters on Sunday that it was very likely that load shedding would continue for the week, as scheduled reductions were most probable during evening peaks and throughout November.
Customers were urged to switch off pool pumps, geysers and unnecessary lights to limit the impact of the load shedding.
The latest implementation of national load shedding follows the nationwide residential load shedding in March.
Eskom had declared a system of electricity emergency following seven days of heavy rain that had left coal stocks wet in March.
The first widespread electricity blackouts in the country had been in 2008, during which factories reduced output, mines were shut down, and offices and households across the country were left without power for extended periods.
FIND YOUR LOAD SHEDDING SCHEDULES:
The Citizen has compiled a list of load shedding schedules from across different municipalities. Due to the fragmented nature of the information available, not all schedules may be accurate or up to date. If your schedule does not appear here or is not up to date, let us know.
Should you be powered directly by Eskom visit the Eskom load shedding site to find out when you’ll be out. Type in your suburb/area in the search box to easily locate your area, i.e. Pimville or the Midvaal municipality.
Eskom has also collated a list for municipal customers which can be accessed here.