City Power warns of load-shedding due to increased winter demand and illegal connections
City Power said it might be forced to start implementing load-shedding in areas around Lawley and Ennerdale to protect infrastructure and avoid a total shutdown of the substation.
Spokesperson Isaac Mangena said there has been an increase in the number of outages in areas supplied from the Hopefield substation, caused largely by overloading and illegal connections.
“With winter knocking, we have seen a surge in demand in the area which is exacerbated by the surrounding informal settlements illegally tapping into our network, leading to overloading,” he said.
“The decision [to load-shed] was informed by a risk assessment conducted on Hopefield substation, which pointed to a serious threat due to overloading of the network that could lead to a total blackout in areas supplied by the substation,” said Mangena.
Mangena said City Power would monitor the load and if consumption behaviour doesn't change, “we will be forced to implement load rotation from May 8 2020 until further notice”.
“Areas affected include Ennerdale ext 5, 8 and 9 and Lawley 1 and 2,” he said.
He said when load-shedding was implemented, the load rotation will be any time during peak hours, from 4pm until 11pm daily.
“We expect this to go on until the upgrades currently under way at the substation are completed. City Power is also currently normalising the network in the area to increase capacity and address the current challenges there. The load rotation is used as the last resort to protect the infrastructure, and it is necessitated by repeated outages in the area,” Mangena said.
City Power urged customers to use electricity sparingly and switch off unnecessary appliances.
“The situation is critical, leaving the substation under severe threat. We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” Mangena said.