Technicians began scaling down electricity production by the unit on Friday last week, before officially switching it off early yesterday. The unit will be offline for three months of maintenance. Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the power utility had planned to switch off the unit and had put other measures in place.
At the weekend, President Jacob Zuma, who was officially opening Medupi power station’s unit 6, said it signalled there was light at the end of the tunnel. The unit was synchronised on March 2 this year and is producing 800MW of power.
Phasiwe said there were no plans to implement load shedding this week provided there were no major breakdowns at the power stations. Today marks exactly 23 days without load shedding.
Meanwhile, Martin Vergunst, business solutions executive at T-Systems South Africa, said one of the most obvious advantages of smart metering platforms was that household and business consumers could opt into load-limiting programmes with their electricity suppliers.
“By agreeing to participate in load-limiting programmes, users have their power supply throttled back to a pre-determined level during times of peak demand, and this allows for important appliances to continue running, without the household suffering a total blackout [as is the case with load shedding].
“As more and more people see the collective benefits of load- limiting programmes, our power utility is able to better control electricity demand, and maintain the often-fragile reserve margin,” he said.