Eskom warns of additional World Cup pressure

South African power utility Eskom on Monday acknowledged that it was likely to come under “additional pressure” during the Soccer World Cup.

“It is anticipated that more than 200 000 tourists will arrive in South Africa during the next few weeks, and although electricity supply is expected to be sufficient over this period, cold winter temperatures combined with high electricity demand is likely to place Eskom under additional pressure,” said Nosipho Maphumulo, general manager of Eskom’s energy-efficiency demand-side management.

This is despite the fact that the national energy provider will not be responsible for the electricity supply to any of the stadiums used for the global sporting spectacle.

According to Business Day, the World Cup stadiums are not going to put excess stress on Eskom’s power since all stadiums are going to be self-powered.

“The powering of World Cup stadiums around the country will not lead to blackouts as each stadium has in place a standalone power-generation system,” the financial daily reported at the end of April.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger was quoted at the time as saying that the system of generators would provide “higher reliability” as grid electricity “cannot be completely reliable”.

“The Eskom grid will be used as a back-up, and if need be, we can switch between the two,” Etzinger said.

Power Alert campaign
Eskom has previously indicated that electricity supply for the duration of the World Cup would not be put under strain, with the chance of load-shedding remote.

If there is a problem with power supply during the tournament, Etzinger said there is a pre-existing agreement with industry to reduce electricity to that sector before stadiums and residential areas.

Also, Zimbabwe media reported last week that the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has agreed to sell 300MW of electricity to South Africa during the World Cup.

In the meantime, Eskom has come up with a new World Cup-inspired Power Alert system for local television.

The World Cup-inspired alerts will be screened during prime time throughout the duration of the event, advising consumers to adjust their energy consumption in accordance with the country’s supply status.

“The aim of the Power Alert campaign is two-fold. It seeks to inform the public about the status of our country’s electrical supply and requests the public’s assistance, asking them to implement varying degrees of energy-saving actions or responses in order to stabilise the balance between power supply and demand,” Eskom said.—I-Net Bridge

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