With its home at http://ldsd.co.za or, if you want to type more – http://blog.sven.co.za/shed/, it gives a view of where we are at in terms of load shedding – or, as some request, power non-provision, blackouts or power cuts. The tool refers to Cape Town in detail, with links to the City Power (Johannesburg) website (warning – may give a “server is busy” error) and to the Eskom “loadshedding” schedule.
Stick to consistent messaging
The biggest challenge – apart from electricity departments sticking to the schedules advertised – has been getting a clear and consistent communications channel through the stack of providers as to what stage – and thus, plan – is in place. Eskom tweets one thing, Eskom Media Desk another. City of Cape Town Alerts does a good job posting who or what will be affected with only a few issues here and there. But the City of Cape Town site lags with updates as to stages.
A stage by any other name
Add to the confusion caused by Eskom switching to a Stage 3 which only loosely correlates to stages 3a and 3b in the Cape Town municipal power provision zones.
The general understanding is as follows:
Stage 1: Generation shortfall of up to 1 000 MW
Stage 2: Generation shortfall of up to 2 000 MW
Stage 3: Generation shortfall of up to 4 000 MW
Maintenance was to be the watchword going forward. Koeberg’s Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1, which had the human error incident earlier this week – causing a loss of some 930MW in generating capacity – is scheduled to go into maintenance on Monday next.
It may possibly be sync’ed to grid over the weekend, making a brief appearance in production ahead of the maintenance window. The sync failed due to human error. Only Unit 2 keeps producing power at present.
Stick to the schedule, and shed!
We all understand the need for maintenance, be it for a car, a power plant, or a pool pump. It must be applied. There is no way of avoiding it. Hence – shed – according to schedule. Do not avoid it to keep the lights on. Do not avoid it for reasons of image or reputation. We’ve passed that point. Work and stick to a schedule, so that a routine can be developed during which the backlog can be made up.
What to do?
Deal with it. There is little else you can do. Be it buying a generator (and fueling, maintaining, storing it), getting a WonderBag or getting a charging power pack for mobiles and laptops, going solar or gas only, it’s not going to go away. At least in the foreseeable, day-to-day future.