There could be reprieve for South Africans in the coming days after Eskom CEO André de Ruyter revealed that plans are under way to tackle the country’s ongoing electricity woes and that load shedding could ease within the next 10 days.
THERE could be reprieve for South Africans in the coming days after Eskom CEO André de Ruyter revealed that plans are under way to tackle the country’s ongoing load shedding woes.
Speaking to Radio Sonder Grense, De Ruyter said load shedding could ease within the next 10 days while it could take another 18 to 24 months for capacity to come onto the network.
“We are doing everything possible to add megawatts to the grid,” he said.
On Tuesday, Eskom was forced to implement Stage 4 load shedding following the tripping of a generation unit each at the Kendal and Lethabo power stations.
De Ruyter said Eskom has started buying power from Zambia and is also looking at acquiring power from Mozambique and the private sector.
He added that the private sector had a total of 6,000 megawatts of renewable projects in the pipeline.
Last month, Eskom announced plans to purchase power programmes to secure 1,000MW to bolster constrained generation capacity.
“Initially the programmes will focus on generators capable of supplying more than one megawatt to the grid. Over time the threshold will be lowered to enable smaller producers to participate,” the power utility said.
ESKOM’S POWER PURCHASE PLAN
Standard Offer Programme: to procure power from companies who have existing generation capacity for a period of three years. The standard offer approach allows Eskom to purchase electricity at an established price calculated at the avoided cost of own generation (including long-term energy purchases from independent power producers). The standard offer allows for a static price, which is established each year based on the regulatory approved cost recovery and covers the variable cost of generation. It also allows for a dynamic price option where the price is set a day ahead for each hour of the following day, indicating the avoided cost of generation based on internal scheduling of generators.
Emergency Generator Programme: to procure more expensive power during periods when the grid is significantly constrained. The programme allows for independent generators to provide energy daily to compete with the Eskom generators in the internal market. The independent generators will supply to the grid based on the offer price and availability provided.
Bilateral Power Import Programme: to secure imports of power to the country from neighbouring countries. Several countries have expressed an interest in selling additional surplus power to South Africa. The programme will provide a mechanism to access such opportunities. Eskom is already importing electricity from some of its neighbours via the Southern African Power Pool, an average 200MW that is being used to augment Eskom generation capacity when the grid is constrained.
The combined impact of the programmes, predicted to exceed 1,000MW, will make an important contribution towards reducing the load shedding burden on consumers.