Solar Companies Prepare to Compensate for August Eclipse

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Utility companies are preparing to compensate for an August 21 solar eclipse that will cause a temporary disruption in solar generation.

During the eclipse, California companies are planning on ramping up production from other power sources, including hydroelectricity and natural gas, and then quickly reintegrate solar power afterward, the Washington Post reported.

Steven Greenlee, a spokesman for the California Independent System Operator, said California residents shouldn’t notice any change in the power flow, even though nine percent of electricity in the state is generated by solar.

He expects a 50 percent to 75 percent reduction in solar generation, even though the path of the eclipse will be centered over Oregon as it passes across the United States. That will result in a loss of 4,200 MW during the eclipse, which is scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Pacific time.

Including the loss of residential solar, the California ISO predicts a total of 6,000 additional MW will be needed.

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