The City of Cape Town revealed that while the rest of South Africa has been plunged into stage 4 loadshedding since 12:00, the Western Cape region will remain between stage 2 and 3 rotational power outages for the day.
Here’s how City of Cape Town delayed stage 4 loadshedding
The metro has its Steenbras Pumped Storage plant to thank for the delayed implementation of increased power cuts. The hydro-electric pumped power station is the first of its kind in Africa and in 2019, it was refurbished to provide auxiliary support when needed most.
Currently, the City of Cape Town is the only metro able to provide a semblance of relief to households impacted by loadshedding. Using the hydro-electric pumped power plant, residents connected to the City’s grid experience a lower stage of loadshedding, where possible.
Therefore, while South Africa is expected to remain on stage 4 loadshedding until 05:00 on Friday 29 October 2021, City of Cape Town customers will toggle between stage 2 and 3 on a day-to-day basis.
On Wednesday, the City will implement loadshedding as follows:
- 12:00 – 18:00: Stage 2
- 18:00 – 20:00: Stage 3
- 20:00 – 22:00: Stage 2
- 22:00 – 05:00: Stage 4
“It all depends on generation capacity and usage. The City will provide further updates ASAP,” the City wrote.
Here’s how the Steenbras Pumped Storage plant works:
- Electricity generated during off-peak periods pumps water to an upper storage reservoir
- The down-flowing water is then used to power a generator
- Small hydro-generators like the one at Steenbras Dam mean that the City can sometimes avoid loadshedding or stay at a lower stage.
When will loadshedding be suspended?
Eskom announced, on Wednesday, that further breakdowns necessitated the call for stage 4 power cuts. In a statement, the power utility revealed that provisionally, stage 4 loadshedding should be suspended no later than 05:00 on Friday.
However, the country will remain on stage 2 until Saturday morning, on the condition that no further breakdowns are reported at power stations.
“Some generating units have returned to service and we anticipate another two units to return to service during the day. In addition, Koeberg Unit 1 is expected to return to service today and begin ramping up to full output within 48 hours,” Eskom explained.
The threat of loadshedding is expected to remain all summer, as the power utility ramps up efforts to keep up with its reliability maintenance.