According to City Power, widespread blackouts experienced throughout the northern suburbs were caused by load rotation and not load shedding, which left residents wondering what the difference between the two is.
Johannesburg MMC for Environmental and Infrastructure Service Nico de Jager explained that load shedding and load rotation are essentially the same thing.
Load rotation is the term used by City Power and load shedding is used by Eskom.
City Power implemented load rotation when problems were experienced at the Sebenza and Kelvin power stations, however, De Jager added that he is confident residents won’t experience any more unplanned outages unless an unplanned system event occurs.
Load rotation essentially lightens the load on the substations and allows them to become re-energised and prevents City Power from losing the entire network.
De Jager emphasised that it is important for residents to switch off their appliances when there is load rotation to prevent the network from being put under strain as soon as the power comes back on again.
Residents expressed their frustration at the lack of communication about the outages, however, De Jager said that while none of the outages could have been foreseen, they would ensure there is better communication with residents in the future.
“The communication has been failing but I’m very happy to say that we have got somebody who will be held responsible for future communication on these projects,” said De Jager.
Tefo Khama‚ a project manager at City Power explained that the Prospect, Delta, Kelvin and Sebenza power stations are the main power suppliers.
“All other areas are downstream, so power flows from the upstream stations to the downstream stations which is distributed to residents and industry and so on, so, if you lose the main one, then everything downstream is affected.”
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