By Reon Janse van Rensburg
Eskom has told operators of some wind-power plants that it won’t need their power at certain times of day due to lower demand during the national lockdown.
According to Sikonathi Mantshantsha, a spokesman for Eskom, the amount of power generated from wind is at its highest early in the morning when Eskom’s need is lowest.
“We have issued certain notices to the wind-power plants,” Mantshantsha said. He also said the power operators had been informed that, if need be, Eskom would not be taking their power for a few hours every few days.
Mantshantsha added that the wind-power plants affected would be compensated by having their contracts extended by the amount of time lost.
A total of 22 wind plants with a combined capacity of 2 078 MW are connected to the electricity grid run by Eskom. Eskom’s own plants have the capacity to generate more than 40 000 MW.
Eskom does not expect to implement load shedding during the national lockdown owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Eskom, certain maintenance work has been postponed as the number of workers on all sites have to be kept at a minimum.
Eskom has shifted its focus to carrying out short-term maintenance to give attention to other repairs at the generation units because demand will increase after the lockdown.
According to Eskom, some of its staff have been exempted as part of the essential services, and consequently it does not expect problems with generating and supplying power during the lockdown period.