Eskom accused of ‘secretly implementing load shedding’ on Monday

Eskom accused of ‘secretly implementing load shedding’ on Monday

The allegations are spearheaded by Ted Blom. The leading energy analyst, who is no stranger to giving Eskom both barrels when required, believes that roughly 1 000 MW of power was missing from the grid late on Monday.

A spokesperson for the firm stated that the evening peak has surpassed a demand 31 000 MW. However, this was comfortably more than the available generational capacity of 29 090 MW. This unsustainable imbalance led to a fierce line of questioning, with Blom suggesting that a stealth round of load shedding DID take place.

Secret load shedding schedule? Eskom do have other ways of meeting excess demand…

So, is that the whiff of conspiracy in the air? Not necessarily. Their diesel-fuelled Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCTGs) have been used previously when the grid is constrained, giving Eskom some much needed support for its electricity supply. It’s also understood that renewable energy sources took some of the pressure off on Monday.

Operational reserves are also a tool used by Eskom, when the going gets tough. Sure enough, this doesn’t always work – but this ‘cobbling together’ of extra resources could well have kept the lights on yesterday.

Threat of power outages loom

The cynics remain unimpressed, though. The energy grid is still under a lot of stress, and further trips to generational units on Tuesday could tip this country back into the realms of darkness. Avoiding load shedding for the rest of the week, therefore, will be more of an escape act than anything else.

Eskom put us all on notice yesterday, by asking South Africans to use electricity ‘as sparingly as possible’ for the rest of the week. Though rolling blackouts are a last resort, the grid may need some form of temporary relief in the next few days ahead – particularly when we head into the hours of peak demand.

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