Johannesburg warns of electricity ‘load rotation’

Johannesburg’s City Power has warned customers to use electricity more efficiently to avoid increased outages and minimise the possibility of load rotation in ‘hotspot’ areas.

Load rotation is a similar process to load shedding, but on a more localised level. However, it is not on a schedule which means that residents experience unplanned outages.

Load rotation typically takes place when there has been a transformer failure at substations or when demand exceeds supply and the systems trips.

Power providers like City Power are forced to restart the system for affected areas one by one to ensure the trip doesn’t happen again. If the power trips again, the entire process needs to be repeated.

On Wednesday (27 May), City Power said that it is already experiencing capacity constraints in most areas, especially where illegal connections are on the rise.

“We are projecting the demand for electricity to increase and the power system is forecast to be tight in the coming weeks.

“City Power has activated its winter plan in anticipation of the challenges that are brought by (an) increased number of unplanned outages due to the overloaded grid.”

The group said that power outages are normally caused by high demand for electricity usage during the cold months of winter, which leads to network overloading. Illegal connections also exacerbate the problem, it said.

City Power said it has now identified certain hotspot areas where there are increases in electricity demand partly due to illegal connections, which cause prepared unplanned outages.

“Part of the strategy is to increase capacity in those areas, complete normalisation programmes, and we will embark on massive operations to remove the illegal connections in the hotspots.

Read: No stage 2 or 3 load shedding expected this winter: Eskom

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Johannesburg warns of electricity ‘load rotation’