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Stage 6: City of Cape Town building energy reserves to mitigate impact of load shedding

Customers at Ferhan Cellular store in Sea Point, Cape Town, are helped by employees with torches on Tuesday as power cuts cripple the nation once again. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Customers at Ferhan Cellular store in Sea Point, Cape Town, are helped by employees with torches on Tuesday as power cuts cripple the nation once again. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 29, 2022

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The City of Cape Town has been building reserves in an effort to help reduce the impact of higher stages of Eskom’s load shedding.

Should Eskom move to higher stages of load shedding, as has just been warned, the city will mitigate the impact as much as possible by using its reserves, primarily garnered through the use of the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme.

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From January to May, Cape Town protected its customers through the use of the Steenbras storage scheme which gave approximately 514 hours, or 21 days of protection from load shedding, the city said.

The City of Cape Town has implored households and businesses to plan ahead, especially with higher stages of load shedding.

“As a city, we will do all we can to help our residents, protect service delivery and infrastructure, and keep our network stable. Needless to say, Stage 6 load shedding will have a profound impact on Cape Town and we are working to make sure the impact is reduced as far as possible by offering some protection from the higher stages of load shedding,” it said.

Work is under way to reduce the impact of load shedding on Capetonians and city infrastructure. Cape Town is in the process of procuring its own small-scale embedded generation, wheeling and independent power producer programmes.

“In fact, the bid process for independent power producers closed yesterday (on Tuesday). In the meantime, we are doing everything in our power to assist our customers, and we thank them for their support,” said executive mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

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The city has requested that customers assist by reducing power usage, especially in the evenings and mornings, and flattening the peak by delaying the use of electrical appliances to non-peak times and switching off non-essential electrical appliances.

“Geysers use the bulk of household energy and reducing the temperature of the geyser to 60ºC or making sure the geyser is on a timer and only active for an hour or two per day is a crucial step to reducing energy usage and making sure we are able to build some reserves,” said the City’s mayoral committee member for energy, Beverley van Reenen.

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