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No load shedding this winter – Eskom

By Jessica Anne Wood

According to Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, the country will not experience load shedding this winter. This announcement was made at the System Status Briefing earlier this week, and comes days after credit ratings agency Moody’s affirmed the power utility’s credit rating of Ba1, with a negative outlook.

According to the report, the country has not experienced load shedding since August 2015. “Eskom’s prognosis for FY2016/17 is that there will be no load shedding,” stated Eskom in the report.

One of the contributing factors is that there has been an increase in availability due to a reduction in breakdowns and increased capacity thanks to Medupi power station. “Eskom has managed to synchronise the first two Ingula units (3 & 4) to the national grid, ahead of schedule on 3 March and 25 March 2016 respectively. Medupi unit 6 commercially operational since August 2015,” revealed the power utility.

In addition, Eskom has also reduced its diesel expenditure. This is thanks to the decreased use of the open cycle gas turbines (OCGT). Diesel costs were cut from R854 million in October 2015, to less than R25 million in April 2016, according to Eskom.

Looking to winter

“Our prognosis for winter is that there will be no load shedding. We will continue with a rigorous programme of planned maintenance without implementing load shedding while also minimising usage of open cycle gas turbines,” said Eskom.

It added: “For winter, Eskom is targeting a maintenance budget of 8 500 MW, in summer we budget 11 500 MW. Renewable energy will continue to contribute up to Photovoltaic 800 MW and wind 500 MW of the total installed capacity of 2 310 MW of electricity generated during the day from solar and wind including Eskom’s Sere wind farm.”

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