Eskom has reassured that while there remains pressure on the power grid, there will not be a national blackout.
In winter there has been higher consumption leaving power systems vulnerable. Despite the approaching of summer which should mean a lower demand for electricity, the systems remain vulnerable due to maintenance.
“We’ve come through winter with a high demand on a number of days fortunately with a few exceptions, it has been under control and we have had sufficient capacity. As we heading to summer though the demand during the evening will be lower, but we will still be vulnerable due to maintenance,” says Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger.
Maintenance will be done for the backlog of the high consumption. He emphasized that consumption peaks during certain times.
“As winter is not entirely over we are still experiencing high demand, especially between 17:30 to 18:30,” national control manager Al’Louise van Deventer said.
If a problem is detected Eskom will inform users before taking action. Power outages have occurred in other countries due to lack of intervention of system operators. Eskom promises that this will not be the case for South Africa.
Etzinger said they do not put the system at risk to the point of a potential blackout.
“We will take appropriate action. We don’t put the system at risk of a national blackout. We would intervene and reduce demand in order to bring the system into balance to ensure that at all times supply and demand are in balance and the power grid is secure,” he explained.
If systems are at risk Eskom’s system operator will intervene and implement rotational load sheading. At the moment there are no plans for load shedding.
“In other parts of the world we have seen a blackout. That is because system operators have not intervened. In Eskom’s case we would implement rotational load shedding. However we would inform users before doing so,” said Etzinger.
“Eskom power systems are tight and it will be so for some time therefore we need to make sure they manage it well,” added Deventer. VOC (Nailah Cornelissen)