A Closer Look at Eskom’s Bases for Load Shedding

Eskom’s load shedding schedule is a necessary evil that South Africans have been constrained to use in managing the difficulties of regular power interruptions. While load shedding is a technique that the government-owned nationwide power producer began using in 2007, the technique became a norm in the country. Up to the present, issuances of load shedding schedules remain as the only measure in place to help customers deal with power outages.

Apparently, advanced technologies and tools albeit available, are individually procured by businesses and consumers in addressing issues that negatively affect their daily operations and living conditions.

The most common of course are the solar-powered panels, lightings and batteries that provide backup electricity. Major companies are also using Load Management Software as solutions  to properly allocate the electricity produced by their secondary source of electricity.

Understanding Eskom’s Different Load Shedding Stages

Although Eskom recently suspended load shedding and power distribution, it was only up to March 2023. The national power corporation has since reverted to the Stage 2 load shedding system.
Actually, the company also warned last May 02 that since there are no improvements, load shedding is not likely to go below Stage 2. It could instead transcend to a higher stage in the coming months ahead.

Stage 1 is when electricity consumption is to be reduced or shed by 1,000 megawatts (MW). Load shedding is carried out either in 3 2-hour power outages for 4 days; or as 3 instances of 4-hour power outages implemented over a period of 8 days.

Stage 2 entails a reduction of 2000 MW that can be implemented as 4-hours of load shedding for at least 6 times within 8 days; or to transpire as 2-hour outages occurring six times during a 4-day period.

Stage 3 takes place when the system needs to shed 3,000 MW of electricity. Power consumers can expect nine load shedding events with a power outage of 4 hour each; or for 9 instance of 2 hours each in a period of 4 days.

Stage 4 requires shedding of up to 4,000 MW will be implemented by way of 12 events of 4-hour outages that take place in a matter of 8 days; or 4 days of 12 2-hour outages.

Stage 5 – is when the grid has to save 5,000 MW that will require consumers to endure 8 events of 2-hours of no electricity for four days or while the system is still at Stage 5.

Stage 6 – This stage is when the electrical power grid could go into unexpected or unscheduled outages in order to meet power reduction of at least 6,000 MW. That is in addition to a load shedding schedule constituting 18 events of 4.5 hours of load shedding within 4 days; or in some cases, 18 events of 2.5 hour of load shedding to carry on for 4 days.

Stage 7 – As much as 7,000 MW of power has to be cut within 4 days by way of daily 4-hour outages.

Stage 8 – This is the final stage that requires the reduction of 8000 MW to take place within 12 hours daily, and possibly carried out by way of 6 events during the day.

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