South Africa faces another 18 months of regular power cuts and won’t be able to end them until sufficient generating capacity is added to the electricity grid to meet demand, Eskom Chief Operating Officer Jan Oberholzer said.
“We need another year or year-and-a-half to get out of this,” Oberholzer said at the Agri SA conference near Johannesburg on Thursday. “We are going to go through a tough time over the next year and a half.”
Work that Eskom has done to alleviate the country’s energy crisis will help ensure the situation won’t be as dire as it might have been.
Still, it may be necessary for the utility to take a “bold step” and implement so-called Stage 2 load-shedding — in which 2,000 megawatts are cut from the national grid — for a lengthy period to enable Eskom to carry out necessary maintenance, he said.
“People can then plan accordingly,” Oberholzer said.
Eskom to Sign Contracts With Five Power Producers
Eskom will sign the first contracts to lease land to five independent power producers on Friday so that they can develop renewable energy projects, the utility said.
The company in June announced it had selected 18 companies to lease sites at its power plants.
The bids for about 4,000 hectares (9,884 acres) are ultimately for projects expected to realize 1,800 megawatts of renewable energy capacity.