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Anticipating new load shedding stages in South Africa – What to expect



new load shedding stages for South AfricaS

The National Rationalised Specifications (NRS) Association of South Africa has confirmed that the new load shedding stages for South Africa are still in the finalisation process.

During a briefing at the National Press Club, NRS Chairperson Vally Padayachee reiterated the points discussed regarding the new schedules over the past few months, emphasising that the revised load shedding document, NRS 048-9 Edition 3, requires 100% consensus from the Work Group before it can be submitted to energy regulator Nersa for legal authorisation.

According to BusinessTech, Padayachee stated that NRS expects to present the document to Nersa within the next few days. He stressed that the revised stages, which will now extend up to stage 16 load shedding, are a proactive measure in response to the state of the Eskom grid but not an indication that the country will reach those levels of outages.

The new load shedding specifications differ from previous versions by dividing the entire power baseload into load shedding stages. The earlier versions only split 25% (up to stage 4) and 50% (up to stage 8) of the baseload, respectively. With the full baseload divided, the new specifications will eliminate various contingency plans and processes that were previously in place for stages beyond stage 8 load shedding.

Also read: Residents in two Johannesburg suburbs share the impact of extended power outages


Padayachee emphasised that introducing higher load shedding stages does not imply a higher risk of a blackout. He highlighted that planning for potential stage 8 and up to stage 16 load shedding is primarily a proactive measure.

The new edition of the NRS 048-9 code, once approved by Nersa, will introduce changes such as splitting the baseload into 16 blocks, revised definitions for load curtailment customers, and more flexibility for utilities in load curtailment.

The NRS 048-9 Code of Practice, which derives its authority from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), is an electricity utility-driven document. The forthcoming code, NRS 048-9 Edition 3, will provide utilities with a structured methodology to reduce the load base during load shedding, potentially enabling 16 load shedding stages. The final version of the code will eliminate contingency plans beyond stage 8 load shedding.

Also read:

Three Items from the Past to Help You During Loadshedding


Picture: UnsplashSteve Johnson

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