New load shedding guidelines do not signal blackout risk: Nersa

Load shedding
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National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) says approving new guidelines for implementing load shedding did not mean the country was close to a blackout.

This comes after Nersa approved guidelines for implementing rolling blackouts up to stage 16.

The newly released guidelines will allow Eskom to implement drastic rolling blackouts beyond stage 8 or up to 20 hours of power cuts.

Earlier, Eskom said drastic rolling blackouts are not on the cards because the grid is gradually improving.

The energy regulator’s Vally Padayachee says, “ Load shedding is one of the most effective and efficient management tools globally to prevent us from going into a total blackout and a collapse of the grid, that’s in essence the intent of the new edition three. We don’t want to get into a blackout and South Africa has been fortunate to have never had a blackout for the last 100 years of the existence of Eskom. The second point is that when we get to higher stages of load shedding it does not mean that we are closer to a blackout.”

VIDEO: Nersa approves guidelines for stage 16 load shedding:

‘Grid improving’

Meanwhile, Eskom says drastic rolling blackouts are not on the cards because the grid is gradually improving. It has sought to allay consumers’ fears that the country is slipping into stage 16 rolling blackouts.

Eskom spokesperson says, “We are now on Day 12 without any load shedding we’ve seen in December. We actually spent 19 days without load shedding. We’ve seen from January up until April that we had fewer stages of load shedding, if you may, and this shows you that our plan which is the generation recovery or operational recovery plan is indeed yielding the desired results. It is just to make sure that in case we have to move to a higher stage, our system operator is basically prepared for.”