Eskom Warns that Incoming Cold Front Could Trigger Load Shedding in SA

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Image sourced from Brand South Africa

SA power utility Eskom has warned South Africans to use electricity sparingly as an incoming cold front and the resulting severe weather conditions could increase energy demand exponentially which could lead to renewed load shedding across the country.

“The South African Weather Service warned yesterday that wet, windy and cold conditions are expected in some parts of the country this week as a result of a cold front,” Eskom said in a statement this morning.

“Following this warning, Eskom would like to appeal to the members of the public to continue using electricity sparingly.”

Cold Front

⚠️Media Release: Wet, windy and very cold conditions from Monday (12 July 2021). Intense cold front to bring very cold conditions to SA this week. pic.twitter.com/aytdZIPPU8

— SA Weather Service (@SAWeatherServic) July 11, 2021

The cold front was expected to hit the Western Cape today, leading to disruptive rainfall, gale-force winds and waves around six metres high buffeting the coastlines.

“Significant and widespread frost is expected over the western and central interior from Wednesday through to Friday,” which means that cold conditions will fall upon the Northern Cape, as well as the interior of the Western and Eastern Cape provinces.

“The inclement weather puts the network at risk and can affect the electricity supply of customers, potentially leaving some customers with prolonged periods without electricity,” Eskom stated.

System Weakened

Eskom says that it hasn’t needed to implement load shedding since 13 June because of an overall improvement in the generation fleet and that currently, the system is performing relatively well.

According to News24, Eskom’s safety margin – a gauge of how much more power the utility is generating more than maximum demand – has fallen to 3.8% recently, and dropped to only 2.4% a week ago.

What this means is, that at 2.4%, Eskom is only generating 737MW more power than the countrywide demand – and it would need for only one sizeable generating unit to break down at any power station for load shedding to be implemented.

By Luis Monzon
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