Nersa approves guidelines for stage 16 load shedding

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved guidelines for implementing load shedding up to stage 16.

The revision of the load shedding code of practice was developed by experts from Eskom, Nersa, the Energy Intensive User Group, South Africa’s metros, and others.

It was submitted to Nersa by the National Rationalised Specifications Association of South Africa (NRS Association) last year.

Changes to load shedding guidelines

It is the third revision of the code and was brought about due to several changes, including the “extensive use of higher stages of load shedding”, such as stage 5 and stage 6.

The guidelines are meant to assist Eskom and municipalities lessen the impact of load shedding and prevent a grid collapse.

Eskom and municipalities have to use the code when implementing load shedding. If they do not, they will have to give Nersa reasons why the system wasn’t adhered to.

The changes to the code include:

  • consolidating the load shedding stages into a single system from stage 1 to 16,
  • clarification on methods for setting baselines for curtailment customers.
  • increased control of how load shedding and load curtailment are determined and carried out, providing more stability to the network and more certainty to curtailment customers.
  • inclusion of the right for curtailment customers to reduce by 10% for every two stages of load shedding), up to stage 10, 50% of their load, or to go to essential loads, depending on their own capacity, rather than being forced to essential loads after stage 4.
  • the specification of compliance and reporting requirements (general and real-time).
  • guidance on the implementation of smart metering for reducing the impact of load shedding on customers.

Load shedding update

Eskom on Friday said the recent suspension of load shedding would stay in place. South Africa has experienced a rare extended break from the power interruptions for more than a week.

“This decision is a result of sustained available generation capacity and adequate emergency reserves,” it said.

The power utility said it will give a system update on Sunday afternoon.

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