Eskom expects 116 days of load-shedding in summer

South Africa can expect to have 116 days of load-shedding in summer as the performance of Eskom’s generation fleet will improve, with three units from Kusile connecting to the grid over the next three months. 

Eskom presented its Summer Outlook to the media today in its State of the System briefing.

Eskom’s acting CEO, Calib Cassim, said that South Africa got through the winter months better than expected, with lower-than-planned demand and improved generating capacity. 

However, stage 6 load-shedding was still implemented for 39 of the 153 winter days, with outages averaging between stage 3 and stage 4.

Unplanned losses during evening peaks averaged 16,420 MW, compared to 16,554 MW in the previous winter. 

Eskom hopes to improve on this in the summer months, with a goal of limiting load-shedding to below stage 4 and unplanned outages to below 14,500 MW.

A key measure that will help Eskom achieve this goal is the return of nearly 3,000 MW of generating capacity at the Kusile Power Station in the coming months. 

Koeberg Unit 1 will also come back online, adding another 1,000 MW, but Unit 2 will be taken offline around the same time, so this will not add any net capacity to the grid.

In addition to bringing the Kusile and Koeberg power plants back online, Eskom also plans to bring 1,500 MW from Tutuka online in January, 1,752 MW from other losses by March 2024, and 720 MW from Medupi by the middle of 2024.

Eskom acknowledged that there are still many challenges to overcome in order to achieve these recovery goals.

Thus, if everything goes to plan, the utility aims to implement load-shedding for only 116 days in the summer.

It said load-shedding will be kept to a maximum of stage 4. 

However, this is the best-case scenario, which assumes that Eskom will be able to keep its unplanned losses at 14,500 MW. 

If this increases to 16,000 MW, just below what it was for most of the winter, South Africa will experience 187 days of load-shedding with a maximum of stage 6. 

In the worst-case scenario, South Africa will only have two days without load-shedding in summer with a maximum of stage 7. 


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