MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Several complaints have been received since the start of load shedding this past weekend about certain areas not being affected by electricity cuts, while others experience load shedding.
The Mossel Bay municipal spokesperson, Colin Puren, said in reply to questions put to him, that the decision to perform load shedding rested solely with Eskom and the networks were switched off at the Proteus and Blanco substations according to a predetermined plan.
Load shedding resulted from the shortage of generation capacity to meet the country's electricity demand.
"Residents must understand that the municipality does not switch the power on or off, neither does the municipality decide which areas should be on or off.
"The Voorbaai substation and associated feeders are not switched off by Eskom as Eskom requires an uninterrupted supply to the diesel generators which feed the Gourikwa power station. Eskom burns diesel when it cannot produce enough from its coal plants.
"The Gourikwa power station does not have diesel storage capacity and consumes between 170 000 litres and 200 000 litres per hour to produce 750 MW into the national Eskom grid," Puren explained.
He said the municipal substations / areas that linked to the Voorbaai 66/11kV substation remain on while supply is maintained to the PetroSA diesel pump stations.
As a result, the central business district as well as suburbs such as Da Nova, Voorbaai, Bayview, Diaz Beach, D'Almeida, the regional sewage works, Sonskynvallei, Hartenbos and Hartenbos Heuwels, Seemeeupark and Monte Christo are not affected by load shedding. This also provides for uninterrupted electricity supply to both hospitals in Mossel Bay."
The municipal director of technical services, Dick Naidoo, said: "Eskom will need to create an open point on its 66kV network between the Voorbaai and Sonskynvallei substation so that more distribution networks in the vicinity of Hartenbos and Sonskynvallei can be isolated during load shedding.
"The municipality and Eskom are also investigating the possibility of transferring the South 66/11kV substation on to the Ockert Bothma 66kV feeder to reduce the demand by a further 14MW during load shedding.
"Both PetroSA and the Mossel Bay Harbour are national strategic key points that are exempt from load shedding.
"The municipality does not perform any load curtailment or switching on of its secondary feeders as this would involve intensive switching operations with additional costs and revenue losses for the municipality," Naidoo explained.
He said the municipality lost a significant amount of revenue during load shedding and supplies to critical installations such as water and waste water purification plants were adversely affected.
Furthermore, maintaining the power supply minimised the risk of damage, especially to the major substations.
Damage, depending on the nature thereof, could take weeks or even months to repair, with the concomitant risk of power failures in the areas linked to the damaged facility.
Naidoo also explained that the dated Mossel Bay Municipality Electrical Load Reduction/Curtailment Plan had since been superseded by national legislation and was no longer effective.
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