California Prepares For Solar Power Loss For August's Total Solar Eclipse

By Menahem, Zen | Jun 16, 2017 09:29 AM EDT

A partial solar power loss is expected to occur as total solar eclipse will pass over California. The solar eclipse will greatly affect the solar energy grid in the state.

Solar power facilities in California provide electricity for 4.7 million homes in California according to Weather. The total solar eclipse that will slightly pass California on Aug. 21 is predicted to affect 40 percent of the power grid in California.

An institution that manages the power grid in California, the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO), predicted that more than half of the solar power will be reduced during the total solar eclipse. California is the state that relies on solar energy more than other states in America, according to The Mercury News. For that reason, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, Michael Picker said that the eclipse can be a good event to enjoy, as the state will have a big power loss.

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"The eclipse may be a good time to turn things off and then go for a walk and, well, enjoy this rare cosmic event," Pickler said about the upcoming total solar eclipse. “We can all be active participants rather than passive subjects.”

During the total solar eclipse, California will cut 3500 megawatts of the state's electricity. The eclipse will start at around 9:00 AM and will dim the sky for about one hour before the sun is back at about 10:20 AM. Cal-ISO has prepared to reverse the power supply from solar power to natural gas and hydroelectric power plant. Following the last wet winter, California has a substantial amount of water in the state's reservoirs and dams, which can be used to turn the turbines.

Cal-ISO has also monitored the weather forecast to predict the amount of substitute power supply during the total solar eclipse. It is because, if the eclipse occurs during the heat wave, more substitute power is needed for the air conditioner.

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