South African state-owned utility Eskom has warned that there is a high possibility of controlled power cuts during peak demand hours today amid unplanned outages of around 3.1GW.
Eskom has about 48GW of installed capacity, but only around 28GW is available on any day, owing to unplanned shutdowns and partial load losses of its coal-fired fleet.
The country’s power generation system is severely constrained after one 609MW unit at the Tutuka power plant tripped and another of the same capacity was taken off the grid, along with a 618MW unit at Lethabo power plant. The return to service of a 600MW unit at Duvha and a 686MW unit at Kendal has been delayed.
The Kendal and Tutuka power plants each lost one unit yesterday, adding to a Tutuka unit that tripped the previous evening. And an 800MW unit at the Medupi plant went down on 7 July, but has since been successfully returned to service.
Any additional breakdowns will hamper Eskom’s ability to keep the country fully supplied during the peak demand period of 17:00-21:00.
The constrained supply situation may persist through the weekend, the utility said.