What is a Solar Eclipse?
A Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon is in its point of orbit closest to the Earth, and it completely covers the Sun.
Why does the solar eclipse have such a big impact on the energy grid?
Put simply: When the moon blocks the sun’s rays, sunlight is prevented from reaching the panels. The less light hitting a solar panel, the less electricity it can generate.
California houses almost half of the solar-electricity-generating capacity in the United States (according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration).
During the eclipse, solar power production in California is expected to be reduced by more than 60%. Solar plant output is estimated to decrease by approximately 4,200 megawatts. To put that in perspective, 1 megawatt powers about 1,000 typical homes, so the eclipse could affect the equivalent of about 4.2 million homes,
This is important because when there is less solar power available, we’ll need to use natural gas to help generate more electricity to power our homes and businesses.
What can you do to prepare?
Stay ready to act! Californians have always helped conserve when called upon, and are asked to be ready to conserve if needed.
Stay safe while viewing the eclipse.
Check out these safety tips from NASA and don’t look directly at the sun without protective glasses that adhere to the ISO 12312-2 international standard for safety.