The August 21st solar eclipse, which now triggers great expectation in North America, will be partially visible in Cuba, said the Cuban Academy of Sciences on its website. California will start losing solar generated power when the shadow first hits at 9:02 am PT, keep seeing the dip until the peak shadow time around 10:22 am, and then ramp back up as the shadow diminishes until 11:54 am on Monday, Gonzalez says. Customers may lose some rooftop solar generation during the eclipse, but those customers won't see any impact to their electric service due to the reliability and flexibility of the electric grid.
"Storage is an innovative part of the California grid that provides key capabilities for operating a cleaner and more affordable grid, while also ramping up extremely quickly to meet electricity needs when solar power wanes, as we expect during the August 21 eclipse", Morris added.
In the United States, the so-called "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" will completely darken the sky along an area of some 113 kilometers wide.
According to the Department of Energy, solar energy production is on a steep incline. The state generates more than a quarter of its electricity from solar farms and rooftop panels. While techies discuss the mechanics and safety of being able to catch the eclipse with a cell phone camera, California's power grid will have it own challenges, like how to balance the drain of anywhere upwards of 60,000 megawatts of power during the eclipse.
Eclipse prompts California power grid changes when solar energy supply dips
Operators in both areas say the key to balancing power generation and usage will be taking advantage of the grid's diverse power sources. "It's not an Armageddon scenario nor will it lead to significant problems, but it will lead to some interesting phenomena", Moura says.
Coordinating with the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which operates much of the state's grid, to access other fast-ramping sources of power to replace solar generation.
PG&E's energy grid operators have a plan to reduce any potential effects of the eclipse. He also says the eclipse is flawless for experiments.
PJM said it is prepared for the drop in solar production - despite gains, solar is still just a drop in the energy bucket - but it will still be noticeable to the technicians monitoring the grid. Austin Energy is already beginning to integrate energy storage technology into its management tools and will soon have the capability to divert grid-connected solar to storage facilities. "We don't see this on the grid very often".