The US is using so much solar power that it will have to prepare for the August eclipse

Michael J. Coren for Quartz:  In the ancient world from the Mayans to the Egyptians, a solar eclipse portended one thing: “a disruption of the established order,” says E. C. Krupp, director of the Griffith astronomical observatory in Los Angeles.
So it is today. With a solar eclipse due to sweep across the US on Aug. 21, utility operators are preparing to guard against a steep drop in solar power, reports the Financial Times (paywall). As the shadow of the moon passes over North America, the eclipse is expected to knock out about 70 megawatts a minute— two to three times faster than the typically daily drop, reports the California Independent System Operator (pdf). It will rebound even faster.

That’s not unmanageable, but it has prompted US utilities from California to North Carolina to look for a solution to a new problem: managing grids increasingly reliant on solar power.

California, which boasts about half the country’s solar capacity, has seen its share of solar power on the grid soar to 10% from 0.4% in the last five years, reports the US Energy Information Administration. On Aug. 21, that will translate into a 6,000 MW shortfall during the hours of the eclipse, enough to power a large city, relative to normal supply.  Full Article:

Comments (0)

This post does not have any comments. Be the first to leave a comment below.


Post A Comment

You must be logged in before you can post a comment. Login now.

Featured Product

Solar FlexRack - TDP Turnkey Tracker

Solar FlexRack - TDP Turnkey Tracker

Solar FlexRack TDP™ Turnkey Trackers are the next generation, single-axis solar tracker solution, complete with comprehensive services and support. What sets this tracking solution apart is its updated tracking technology bundled with a full suite of best-in-class project services and support for commercial and utility-scale solar customers. The TDP Turnkey Tracker offers the lowest total cost solution by providing the only tracker in the industry that includes full design, installation, commissioning, and support services bundled in one contract. Solar FlexRack's TDP Solar Tracker solution is supported by an in-house team of experts that includes mechanical, structural, civil, electrical and geotechnical engineers and geologists. To learn more about Solar FlexRack's TDP Turnkey Tracker, one of the most cost-effective and comprehensive tracker solutions available, please visit: http://solarflexrack.com/products/tracker.