South Africa is on power alert, Eskom said on Wednesday morning.
“The power system remains vulnerable, meaning that any extra load or faults in the system may necessitate load shedding today,” the electricity provider posted on its Twitter feed shortly after 6.15am.
A further post minutes later read: “Eskom calls on consumers to urgently switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps & all non-essential appliances throughout the day”.
On Tuesday, acting CEO Dan Marokane said Eskom implemented stage two rolling power cuts on Tuesday to help bolster power supply for the rest of the week.
“We moved to stage two in order to manage our reserves at our pumped storage schemes and gas turbines so that we can better manage the rest of the week,” Marokane said in a statement.
Eskom began with stage one rotational power cuts on Tuesday morning, but later escalated to stage two. Stage one allows for up to 1000MW of the national load to be cut, stage two for up to 2000MW, and stage three for up to 4000MW. Eskom said the intensified power cuts were necessary because of a shortage of generation capacity.
“At our pumped storage schemes (which use water to generate electricity), the dam levels are low because we were not able to pump the water back to full capacity over the weekend,” it said on Tuesday afternoon.
This was because Eskom had to use its pumped storage schemes over the weekend to meet demand.
“Ordinarily, the weekends are used to pump our dam levels to maximum capacity in preparation for the forecasted increased demand in electricity during the week.” SAPA