Heat wave not affecting power supply, says Eskom

Johannesburg – Gauteng’s current heat wave has not affected power consumption during the critical peak period, Eskom said in a statement on Thursday.

Although the simmering heat heightens electricity demand during the day because of the increased use of air conditioners, there is a reprieve after sunset. “The evening peaks are not affected that much as it cools down as soon as the sun sets,” Eskom said.

Summer is traditionally a maintenance season for Eskom, with a number of generating units taken out for planned maintenance. This, together with increased usage because of hot summer days, puts strain on the electricity grid in summer.

Commenting on the effect of the current strike in the coal sector, Eskom reiterated that it has enough coal stockpiles at its power stations. “We have coal stockpiles of over 30 days at most of our power stations and we thus do not anticipate that the strike will have an impact on our ability to generate electricity at this stage,” Eskom said.

On Wednesday, Eskom celebrated achieving another load shedding free day as it marked 60 days of only two hours and 20 minutes of load shedding.

The utility on Thursday refused to give more information on its summer maintenance plans, saying these will be revealed during a quarterly state of the system briefing towards the end of the month.

However, during a War Room presentation in September, Eskom CEO Brian Molefe revealed Eskom’s 2015/2016 maintenance programme, but said it was subject to change.

GRAPH: Planned Maintenance – August to December 2015

Source: Eskom