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Steenbras dam saves Cape Town from load-shedding

The Mother City could be the sole place in the country to be spared from Stage 1 load-shedding thanks to the Steenbras hydro-power dam.

City officials have, however, warned that if load-shedding in the country goes beyond Stage 1, Cape Town may have to have black-outs in certain parts of the city just like in other areas of South Africa.

Eskom announced recently that due to the closing of 11 power plants it will implement load shedding to deal with the current strain on the power grid.

These grid-saving mechanisms may continue on into the new year and will possibly continue to affect communities for the remainder of 2018.

Xanthea Limberg of the City of Cape Town mayoral committee for energy told Business Insider South Africa that the city has successfully used the Steenbras Dam to avoid Stage 1 load-shedding in the past.

The dam, which generates up to 180MW, is usually used to generate power during peak demand periods to offset higher Eskom prices, Limberg said.

“This plant can [therefore] generate spare capacity which can be used to offset load shedding outside the peak periods and at times when these peaks are low,” Limberg said.

Other sources of energy, like the City’s Roggebaai gas turbines (42MW) and the Athlone gas turbine (36MW), could also aid in avoiding load-shedding when the city is obligated to reduce its usage.

The Western Cape aims to reduce its electricity consumption by 10% by 2020 by using renewable energy sources, but has so far only achieved a reduction of 1.66%.

The Mother City may not have to deal with load-shedding like the rest of the country, but only time will tell if interventions from the City pay off.

This article was written by Aimee Pace and sourced from CapeTown Etc.; for the original article, click here

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