Eclipse To Clip Solar A Bit
Solar eclipse on August 21 will affect photovoltaic generators across the country
August 7, 2017 (U.S. Energy Information Administration)
“On August 21, a solar eclipse [over approximately 90 minutes] will obscure the sunlight needed to generate electricity at approximately 1,900 utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the United States. However, relatively little solar PV capacity lies in the path of totality—where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon—and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) does not anticipate the eclipse will create reliability issues for the bulk power system.
…[According to A Wide-Area Perspective on the August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse, generators] outside of the path of totality will be less affected…The path of totality only affects 17 utility-scale solar PV generators, mostly in eastern Oregon. Hundreds of plants totaling about 4.0 gigawatts (GW) of capacity—mostly in North Carolina and Georgia—will be at least 90% obscured. Another 2.2 GW and 3.9 GW of capacity are in areas that will be at least 80% and at least 70% obscured, respectively…
During the eclipse, electricity generators in the areas affected by the eclipse will have to increase output from other sources of electricity generation to supplement the decrease in solar power…[NERC] does not anticipate any impacts on the reliability of North America’s bulk power system attributable to the eclipse…Based on the amount of sunlight obscured for each of the state’s generators, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) estimates that California will experience a reduction in solar generating capacity of almost 4.2 GW [of its 8.8 GW of utility-scale solar PV capacity] during the eclipse, which is estimated to partially darken the state from 9:02 a.m. to 11:54 a.m. local time…” click here for more