Eskom has announced that it will implement Stage 4 load shedding this afternoon because an additional 560 MW of power has been lost due to generation equipment breakdowns. The utility has a further 1273 MW out of action for planned maintenance. Breakdowns in its generating equipment has increased from 14560 MW to 15087 MW. This means that a total of 16 360 MW is unavailable.
Stage 4 load shedding means that 4000 MW of load will be removed from the network. This action is taken to prevent the system from being overloaded and tripping out completely.
The usual demand of approx. 30 000 MW cannot be met, since Eskom has, at best, 45 000 MW of generating capacity. Last week, the utility paused load shedding to assist the government to hold virtual meetings with MPs from around the country. The power to make that pause possible must have come from Eskom's pumped storage capacity by releasing water held in the upper dams.
This load shedding is probably necessary since the utility now needs electricity to pump the water back from the lower dams to the upper dams to "recharge" its 2700 MW storage systems.
The additional units which have failed are at the Medupi and Duvha power stations.