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Thread: And the lights go out again.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    And the lights go out again.

    Out of the blue, power shedding. Not a hint of a looming problem and then bang, the lights go out.

    Power cuts rippled across South Africa on Thursday, blacking out parts of major cities and spurring warnings from state utility Eskom that unexpected shortages could extend into next week.

    The cuts, which Eskom attributed to power-station maintenance and the shutdown of one unit at the country's only nuclear power plant, caused power failures stretching from Cape Town to Johannesburg.

    South Africa's power woes have raised political temperatures in the past, with critics accusing the government of failing to address the energy crunch plaguing Africa's biggest economy as it gears up to host the Soccer World Cup in 2010.

    Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin was "confident that South Africa as a whole will not be plunged into darkness", said a statement from his office.

    Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu said the company would try to ensure that a 2 000MW shortage would not take a heavy toll on homes and appealed to the public to switch off non-essential electrical equipment.

    "The situation is critical. We expect about two hours of shortages a day. We will tap reserve resources. Hopefully we will resolve the problem early next week," he said.

    One unit was shut down in the Koeberg plant outside Cape Town -- Africa's only nuclear power station -- which has been beset by blackouts. Zulu said 900MW of the facility's 1 800 had been cut. It supplies 50 % of the electricity in the Western Cape, South Africa's tourist hub.

    Eskom's managing director for transmission, Jacob Maroga, said earlier in a statement carried on the Sapa news agency that the shortage would amount to 4 600MW out of a total national capacity of about 36 000.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    FNB to spend R50m on generators

    First National Bank (FNB) is to spend R50-million on standby generators and uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units at its branches nationwide in response to power failures, it said on Friday.

    FNB said about R15,5-million [of the total amount] had already gone towards generators at 63 branches.

    An additional 32 would be installed from March at a cost of about R8-million, putting FNB's total investment in generators at R24-million by June this year.

    Generators have an average power supply of 220 kilowatts each, and would be able to keep a full-service branch running, including air-conditioning, computers, servers, routers and ATMs which consume huge chunks of power, FNB said.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  3. #3
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    If anyone wants a UPS or generator... pm me i know where to get them cheapish.

    One thing i have to tell you... our clients that are power people... are MAKING SO MUCH MONEY its frightning.

    Anyway on this issue im going to post a very long and intensive quote from wellinformed.co.za
    Bear with me

    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa, the continent's economic powerhouse, faces nationwide power cuts that could last into next week, a spokesman for state utility Eskom said on Thursday.

    Fani Zulu said the company would try to ensure that a 2,000 megawatt shortage would not take a heavy toll on homes and appealed to the public to switch off non-essential electrical equipment.

    An unexpected surge in demand came as maintenance was being carried out at power stations, said Zulu.

    "The situation is critical. We expect about two hours of shortages a day. We will tap reserve resources. Hopefully we will resolve the problem early next week," he said.

    "We will pull out all stops to make sure that electricity is distributed evenly and there will be no need for lower supplies in some areas."

    Eskom's managing director for transmission, Jacob Maroga, said earlier in a statement carried on the SAPA news agency that the shortage would amount to 4,600 megawatts.

    Calls for residents to decrease power usage have been broadcast on radio stations, while several areas of Johannesburg and other cities reported that power cuts had begun.

    "Residents, whose areas still have power, are requested to switch off their geysers, swimming pool pumps, air conditioners and all other equipment that uses electricity in the meantime to save as much power as possible," said the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality centred on Port Elizabeth in a statement.

    South Africa is one of many countries on the continent suffering from power deficits that business leaders say could keep foreign investors away.

    Higher than expected economic growth and a lack of past investment have left many countries, mostly oil importers, scrambling to avert widespread shortages.

    Last year, South Africa's top tourist city Cape Town endured months of intermittent power shortages, causing traffic gridlock and closing factories.

    Eskom has been under pressure to repair ageing infrastructure as a booming economy fuels demand for energy.

    South Africa's government plans to spend billions of dollars to shore up the electricity grid in the industrial centre Johannesburg, where old generators cannot keep up with demand.

    Eskom has looked to buy power from Mozambique and Botswana to upgrade disused plants.

    -- From Eskom Website
    Updates:

    Koeberg 'trips': Eskom issues national power alert

    Eskom will conduct load-shedding "equitably" throughout the country, the power utility said on Thursday.

    The parastatal's regional centres would have information on which areas would be affected and when.

    Spokesperson Tony Stott said there would also be information on the Eskom website.

    "We shall try to do load-shedding equitably throughout the country," he said.

    Eskom has not yet been able to establish the reason for an unexpected huge surge in demand, which came while maintenance was being carried out at power stations.

    "There is a national alert," he said.

    Much of Johannesburg was affected by the power failure although Eastgate and Sandton City said they were enjoying normal power supply.

    The city's emergency services had adequate generators and operations had not been affected by mid-morning, said spokesperson Malcolm Midgely.

    In Krugersdorp, there were delays bringing awaiting-trial detainees to court, with the lights out in the underground holding cells.

    Earlier, Jacob Maroga, the managing director for power transmission, said: "Eskom is experiencing unplanned outages of 4 600MW due to technical generating plant problems."

    "This is 3 000MW higher than was anticipated for this period. The electricity demand is 1 000MW higher than planned."

    The automatic shutdown of Koeberg Unit One was due to a trip of the turbine.

    "Eskom is using all pre-arranged emergency options, however this will not be sufficient to address the shortfall of electricity for today [Thursday] and possibly for the coming week."

    "In order to maintain the balance between demand and supply, mandatory load shedding will be implemented countrywide, as and when required."

    Moses Mamba from Eskom’s media desk told the Mail & Guardian Online that it would take a while for power to be fully restored, as Eskom had to “strengthen the networks”.

    He said this "can’t happen overnight”. - Sapa

    --MG article
    Update

    No load shedding is anticipated for the week, but in case the situation should call for load shedding (which Eskom does not anticipate), the following guidelines for load shedding schedules will be applicable :
    Southern Region - Green Scenario Orange Scenario Red Scenario

    Eastern Region - All Scenarios
    Northern Region - All Scenarios

    Western Region (Western Cape) - Green Scenario Orange Scenario Red Scenario

    Central Region - Load Shedding

    North West Region - Green Scenario Orange Scenario Red Scenario

    All the details on the Load Shedding are available from http://loadshedding.eskom.co.za/

    What is load shedding?

    Load shedding is a controlled way of rotating the available capacity between all customers. It is being done when the demand is greater than what can be supplied with the objective of avoiding total blackouts throughout the province.

    Load shedding occurs when there is a generation shortage, transmission constraints or localised capacity constraints.

    Stakeholder engagement and Customer liaison is an important part of the load shedding principles.

    Scenarios


    The planning for the coming winter has been done based on four different scenarios depending on the electricity network status. These four scenarios result in four different schedules for each scenario.



    Green
    We would operate in the GREEN scenario when the network status is as follows:
    • One Koeberg Unit
    • Two Palmiet Units
    • Transmission system intact (400kV lines and equipment)
    Up to 9% of the peak load will need to be shed.


    Orange
    We would move into the ORANGE scenario in the case where we lose the operating Unit at Koeberg Power Station. This scenario will be based on the following:
    • No Koeberg Unit
    • Two Palmiet Units
    • Transmission system intact
    Up to 20% of the peak load will need to be shed.

    Red
    We would move into the RED scenario in the case of contingencies on the Transmission network. This scenario will be based on the following:
    • One Koeberg unit
    • Two Palmiet units
    • Contingency on the Transmission system
    Up to 30% of the peak load will need to be shed.


    Brown
    We would move into the BROWN scenario in the case of having no generation capacity in the region and contingencies on the Transmission network. This scenario will be based on the following:
    • No Koeberg unit
    • No Palmiet units
    • Transmissions system contingency
    Up to 56% of the peak load will need to be shed.
    And finally from a member

    Ok, we all know Eskom has screwed up bigtime and is simply taking to long with the pebble beds, etc, etc. But should we not make a public effort to help Eskom? Eskom is after all delivering electricity to us at the world's LOWEST price.

    Saving power will not only help Eskom, it also means you will fork out even less money for electricity.

    Help Eskom Help Yourself and read this:
    http://www.eskom.co.za/customers/ele...y_content.html

    Hope this provides some insight and info into the matter.
    Wellinformed.co.za - Networking Forums SA partner site. Let's support each other for a better South Africa.

  4. #4
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Capacity at breaking point, Eskom warns

    More blackouts may be on the way after Eskom warned South Africans yesterday evening that it was short of 6 500 megawatts because up to 15 of its electricity generating units were down.

    This warning, following blackouts a fortnight ago, underlines the precarious position facing the economy until Eskom's capital expenditure plan begins to add capacity.

    Andrew Etzinger, Eskom's general manager of investment strategy, said yesterday: "We have eaten into our normal operating margin of 1 600MW", meaning that the situation was tight.

    To prevent load shedding, Eskom appealed to businesses and consumers to conserve electricity.

    In its statement Eskom said: "Currently the risk of load shedding is low. However, if additional generating plant goes on unplanned outage, the possibility of load shedding will increase and, if necessary, load shedding will be done on a rotational basis."

    Eskom has a net capacity of 36 398MW, but with only 29 898MW now available it cannot meet the average demand of between 30 000MW and 31 000MW.
    full story from Business Report here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  5. #5
    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    California is in the process of bringing in legislation to ban incandescent bulbs.

    Practical, relatively simple to do, huge energy saving over the country, why doesn't the government just ban incandescents, and subsidize CFLs? Probably take about 6 months for them to filter in (as incandescents break), then Eskom wins.
    [SIGPIC]Engineer Simplicity[/SIGPIC]
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    Full Member Chris Bouwer's Avatar
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    I lived down the south coast for a few years (Port Edward) and the blackouts were common place.
    Eskom were using old equipment that could't cope with demand.
    Has Eskom not planned properly?????????
    Demand has grown at a helluva rate and they get caught with their pants down!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    SA electricity supply 'uncertain'

    And the real reason behind our electricity supply woes comes out.
    Electricity supply in South Africa will remain uncertain for the next five years, with a reserve margin of just over half of what it should be, Parliament's public enterprises portfolio committee heard on Wednesday.

    Briefing members of Parliament, Anton Eberhard, a professor at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business, said one of the main reasons for this was a 2001 Cabinet decision not to allow Eskom to build new generating capacity at that time.

    "It's clear ... that South Africa's security of supply is inadequate ... the root cause was ... policy uncertainty and the prohibition on Eskom building new capacity. A Cabinet memo in 2001 actually prevented Eskom from building [new generating plants], and we had this critical period between 2001 and 2004 where there was this hiatus.

    "The expectation was that private power would come in. In fact nothing was done to facilitate that ... it's not so much that the policy was basically wrong; the policy wasn't actually implemented.

    "So the legislation wasn't in place, the contracting, the competitive tenders, all those necessary steps to get private sector in, didn't happen in that period," he said.
    full story from M&G here
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  8. #8
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I see the lights are going out again. Power shedding is happening all over.

    Eskom has been caught napping again and has caused massive disruption to the public and the economy, the Democratic Alliance said on Wednesday.

    "Eskom has informed the public too late about load shedding and has caused massive disruptions," said DA spokesperson on Minerals and Energy Affairs, Hendrik Schmidt.

    He said power failures were costing the economy up to R8-billion a year, and that the costs were not only measurable in financial terms.

    "Yesterday [Tuesday] in Eshowe and Shallcross, learners had their matric typing exams interrupted, requiring the paper to be reset by the KwaZulu-Natal education department, and the exam to be postponed to a later date.

    "This morning [Wednesday], traffic lights not working caused pandemonium in various areas in Johannesburg. DA representatives in Port Elizabeth reported that elderly pensioners throughout the city were left queuing in the wet and the cold at pension points that were not working due to a lack of electricity."

    Eskom spokesperson Fani Zulu told the Mail and Guardian Online on Wednesday the power failures came at an “unexpected time due to the severe weather conditions and the increase in demand”.

    Zulu said load shedding would probably continue for the rest of the week.

    Eskom is working at 20% of its capacity said Zulu, adding that there was a shortfall of 4 700 megawatts due to maintenance at power stations.
    full story from M&G here
    Once again, welcome to darker Africa.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  9. #9
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Another round of powershedding yesterday. Our site seems to be on the 4.00pm to 6.00pm shift.

    And then I get home and one of the overhead power supply lines had dropped out of its connector box. I must say I was pretty pleased to see the guy from eThekwini Municipality arrive to fix the problem, even if it was at midnight last night.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  10. #10
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Just checking the news headlines. And find this

    Stott said South Africans need to be aware that load shedding is a reality to deal with for the next few years. "[Load shedding] is not short-term until we construct large power stations." said Stott. "Demand and supply are very tight."

    Load shedding could continue for the next five to seven years. During this time, Eskom is looking at various sources of energy. New gas turbines are to be built and a coal power plant is to be completed in 2012, he said.
    full story from M&G here
    Oh boy
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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