Cash-strapped power utility Eskom on Tuesday announced that it was implementing stage 2 loadshedding schedule.
The power utility said it will roll out the loadshedding schedule during the evenings and early hours of the morning while stage 1 schedule will during daytime.
This after Eskom announced on Sunday that loadshedding will remain suspended until further notice, as a result of the sustained improvement in generating capacity and sufficient emergency reserves.
The power utility on Tuesday said the need to reintroduce the power cuts was due to a setback experienced in returning two unspecified generating units to service, as well as the loss of three generating units.
A statement by the power utility posted on X read: “Unplanned outages are currently at 14,953MW of generating capacity, while the capacity out of service for planned maintenance is 7,638MW.”
“Eskom power stations managers and their teams are working tirelessly to ensure that 2,700MW of generating capacity is returned to service before the end of the week.”
The first round of stage 2 load-shedding will begin at 16:00 on Tuesday, and last until 05:00 on Wednesday.
Thereafter, stage 1 load-shedding will be implemented from 05:00 until 16:00 on Wednesday.
Eskom said this pattern of stage 1 load-shedding from 05:00 to 16:00 and stage 2 load-shedding from 16:00 to 05:00 would continue until further notice.
“Eskom will closely monitor the power system and communicate any changes should it be required.”
Eskom said it was forecasting an evening peak demand of 24,977MW for Tuesday.
Eskom extended gratitude to clients who heed the call to use electricity sparingly and efficiently, including switching off geysers and pool pumps from 17:00 to 21:00.
Stating that it lowers demand and helps in alleviating the pressure on the power system and contributes to lower stages of loadshedding.
During the briefing in Pretoria, Ramokgopa stressed that Eskom’s ability to extend loadshedding suspensions is due to the efficiency of its generation units, which were producing more power than planned.
He mentioned that the increased adoption of rooftop solar had reduced grid demand, with an estimated 4 500MW of rooftop solar installations, nearly double that of 2022.
“People say demand is going down because of rooftop solar – yes, that is what we want, that is what we are encouraging,” said Ramokgopa.