Inside the Eskom national control centre technicians and engineers watch an overhead screen. The screen – cinema-sized at the front of the room – holds key information that will determine whether the lights stay on or not. It is here that Al’louise van Deventer spends her working hours.
Van Deventer is the national control centre manager and ultimately all the engineers at the centre turn to her when the illuminated lines and dots on the screen above start indicating that the national electricity grid is under severe strain.
Eskom operates 27 power stations with a total nominal capacity of 41 995MW.
This is made up of 35 726MW of coalfired stations, 1 860MW of nuclear power, 2 409MW of gas-fired stations, 2 000MW of hydro and pumped-storage stations and a 3MW wind farm at Klipheuwel.
Electricity is moved from generator to metros and municipalities and ultimately to homes along 359 337km of power lines and substations with a cumulative capacity of 232 179MVA.
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