South Africa’s electricity generation capacity has been dealt a severe blow over the weekend, as power utility Eskom revealed that a fault at the Koeberg nuclear power station has put half of Koeberg’s generation capabilities out of commission.
“Unit 1 of the Koeberg power station is currently out of service due to a technical fault on the main generator transformer at the power station, which resulted in the unit being isolated from the national grid,” Eskom said in a statement.
Unit 1 of Koeberg power station is currently out of service due to a technical fault on the main generator transformer. Unit 2 is unaffected
— Eskom Media Desk (@Eskom_MediaDesk) February 1, 2015
Eskom also eased some fears of the reactor itself, and assured the public that the reactor has remained stable, and that engineers are currently working to resolve the issue.
With one unit out of order, resulting in a loss of 900MW in generation capacity, it is still unclear if Eskom will move towards loadshedding today, although the possibility still exists.
“At this stage, we can’t say if there will be power cuts from tomorrow (Monday). We are hoping that other units that were undergoing maintenance could come online,” said Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe.
According to Eskom’s forecast of demand (without Koeberg Unit being down) released on Friday, the demand has been forecast to be more than the available capacity for Monday. The rest of the week follows the same pattern, making loadsheddding ever so likely.
Early Monday morning, Eskom said that the national grid is still vulnerable.
Power system remains vulnerable. Please switch off geysers, air conditioners, pool pumps & all non-essential appliances throughout the day.
— Eskom Hld SOC Ltd (@Eskom_SA) February 2, 2015