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    Eskom latest: coal plant revival report to be submitted this week

    September 18, 2023 - The Peninsula Newspaper


      South Africa's state-owned power utility eased power outages owing to a "further improvement" in generation capacity.

      Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. will cut 2,000 megawatts from the grid from Sunday 4 p.m. until the same time on Monday, the company said. The utility had previously said it would implement a so-called Stage 3 loadshedding.

      Eskom said it plans to implement a Stage 4 loadshedding from 4 p.m. on Monday up to 5 a.m. Tuesday, followed by 2,000 megawatts being cut from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. That pattern will continue until further notice, the utility said.

      Cape Town wheeled renewable power - a transaction that uses the existing grid to transport electricity bought and sold between private parties in different areas - for the first time as the city takes measures to reduce the impact of South Africa's outages, it said in a joint statement.

      Growthpoint Properties Ltd. generated rooftop solar power in Constantia that was added to the grid on Sept. 10, with the equivalent amount of electricity sold to its customers in another building in Cape Town, the group said on Thursday. Etana Energy, a licensed electricity trader, also participated in the deal.

      Cape Town has started a six-month pilot project that includes 15 wheeling participants representing 25 generators and 40 customers. That will provide the basis for the project to be expanded, the group said.

      Eskom's Coal Power Is More Variable Than Renewables, B. Day Says (Sept. 14, 8:07 a.m.)

      The variability of coal-fired plants operated by South Africa's power utility is worse than that of renewable energy sources on the grid, Business Day reported, citing an Eskom official.

      Variability refers to the fluctuation of supply by a power source, especially renewables such as wind and solar that are dependent on the availability of the resource. System variability is one of Eskom's biggest challenges in providing steady supply of electricity, the utility said.

      Variability on the renewables fleet is about 150 megawatts, compared with 4,000 megawatts over the rest of the network, according to Eskom's general manager for system operations, Isabel Fick.

      German energy consultants have completed a review of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd.'s struggling coal-fired plants and will submit the report to South Africa's finance minister this week.

      Enoch Godongwana is set to receive the report from consultants led by vgbe energy e.V., a Germany-based technical association of energy-plant operators in 34 countries, this week, National Treasury Director-General Duncan Pieterse told reporters on Tuesday.

      South Africa's state power utility appealed to consumers to reduce electricity use, even as it implements outages that last as long as nine hours a day.

      Cold weather across South Africa has led to increased demand, Eskom said in a statement on X, the social-media platform previously known as Twitter.

      Members of the public should reduce demand by switching off non-essential appliances including geysers, swimming-pool pumps and electric heaters, it said.

      "The reduction will continue to assist in alleviating pressure on the system and avoid higher stages of loadshedding," it said.

      Eskom has been implementing so-called stage 6 loadshedding - in which it cuts 6,000 megawatts of supply from the grid - since Tuesday, following breakdowns at some of its generating units.

      South Africa Burns More Diesel in Vain Bid to Boost Power Output (Sept. 13, 7 a.m.)

      South African electricity outages remain at record levels despite the state power utility burning through vast quantities of diesel to bolster output.

      Eskom said Tuesday that Stage 6 power cuts, whereby 6,000 megawatts of capacity is removed from the grid to prevent a total blackout, will be scheduled throughout the week.

      That matches the deepest level of blackouts officially announced by the utility, and caused the rand to extend earlier losses.


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