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An entire year without load shedding…..Hooray

By Alina Hardcastle

Yesterday (9 August 2016), Eskom celebrated 365 day of no load shedding. The power utility has said that this is largely attributed to the rigorous plant maintenance programme that they have executed over the past 12 months.

Eksom said: “The adherence to regular scheduled maintenance is managed through the Tetris planning tool which schedules outages based on forecasted demand and maintenance requirements. A key aspect of this includes having a strict winter and summer maintenance budget that comprises 8.5GW for winter and 11.5GW for summer.”

In terms of their existing Generation Sustainability Strategy, their aim is to achieve 80% plant availability, 10% planned maintenance and 10% unplanned maintenance over the medium term.

Eksom said that the reduction in unplanned outages have attributed to improvements of plant availability and the resultant sharp reduction in the usage of open cycle gas turbines ( OCGTs). They added: “The last time Eskom ran OCGTs to manage the system was on 14 June 2016. The OCGT load factor year-to-date is 0.24% against a target of 6%. Our target is not to burn any diesel for the rest of the financial year.”

Eksom also informed us the power system was stress-tested in April this year following multiple trips of units at three power stations, a move that resulted in a loss of 3 535 MW.

They highlighted: “No load shedding was implemented due to the increased resilience that Eskom has built into the power system over the past few months. Moreover, on 1 August 2016 the system experienced the highest peak demand for the year, at 34 922 MW. The demand was met without the need to dispatch Eskom’s diesel generators. This peak was higher than last year’s peak of 34 481 MW.”

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