Since lockdown commenced nearly a week ago the demand for electricity has fallen significantly.

This is according to Eskom which has reported that demand has dropped by between 7 500MW and 9 000MW since lockdown came into effect.

As a result of this dip in demand, Eskom is able to conduct short-term maintenance on its infrastructure and so it’s doubling down on the amount of maintenance it intends to do.

“We have increased planned maintenance to 9 032MW, while unplanned outages or breakdowns have been reduced to 8 572MW as at 16:10 on Wednesday. This compares to planned maintenance of 4 256MW and unplanned outages or breakdowns of 12 175MW on 25 March 2020, the last day before the national lockdown,” said Eskom in a statement.

Earlier this week Eskom assured South Africans that the power generation system was able to meet the demand, in part because demand is so low.

Part of this maintenance includes Koeberg Unit 2. The unit will be taken off of the gird from Friday 3rd April. The unit is expected to be synchronised with grid again on 30th April.

Eskom says that all its units where maintenance is being conducted are able to be added to the grid at short notice should the need arise.

Relief for wind farms

Independent power producers (IPPs) using wind to produce power have been issued a force majeure notice by Eskom. This notice informs wind farms that from time to time Eskom may curtail their supply to the grid during national lockdown.

The utility says that the possibility of this is remote but should it be necessary, wind IPPs will be given one day of relief for every day, or part thereof, of lost production.

“This will ensure none of the wind IPPs are worse of than before the force majeure,” said Eskom.