Here is what contributed to the eased load shedding schedule
The reason for Eskom to schedule load shedding for overnight until the end of the morning peak is due to the large differential between the daytime power usage demand and the peak. In winter, this is extreme, in summer the curve is far flatter.
Here is the difference in what was expected and what the current reality is comes from:
Wind generation has kicked in, given winter cold fronts heading into the Western and Eastern Cape. From Friday evening, wind generation has produced – relatively consistently – 2GW (or 2000MW) of power. This translated into the reprieves from load shedding over the past weekend.
With one Koeberg unit offline until September (originally June), the 2000MW of wind power in coastal regions equates to somewhere around 2200MW to 2400MW of power, because of the losses on high voltage lines from Mpumalanga (or further, such as Mozambique). This means that having such strong wind generation during a period in which 900MW is offline has a larger impact than ordinarily.
According to Eskom, only 2407MW is currently offline due to planned maintenance. Given the constraints on Eskom’s maintenance budget going forward, this may be a realistic amount of maintenance that can be done in winter months. What must also be noted is that plants scheduled to be shut down are receiving little to no attention.
Open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) are being used – a lot. Current spend is estimated at about R3 billion a month, as per Eskom data.
Eskom’s final boost has come from the most unexpected quarter: breakdowns are lower than expected. At 16056MW as of Tuesday afternoon.