Won't this be interesting (Solar Eclipse and GT power)
California’s sun will go dark Aug. 21. And when the moon crosses the sun, California’s solar power grid will slowly, quietly, stop working.
State energy officials are warning residents to click off all lights they don’t need and unplug all electrical appliances when 62 percent of the sun disappears over Los Angeles during a partial solar eclipse that is expected that day.
Nobody is warning of blackouts. But then again, nobody knows what will happen.
"When the sun goes away, so does the energy that powers our renewable solar panels. If millions of Californians turn off appliances and power strips to unplug from the grid during the eclipse, we can let our hard-working sun take a break,” said Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.
The California Public Utilities Commission has branded the upcoming eclipse as not just a solar eclipse but the “Great Solar Eclipse.”
It’s only a partial eclipse that will travel across California from about 9:02 a.m. until 11:54 a.m. Pacific time. But still, it will be significant because of the solar energy that the state’s energy grid will lose.
A California Public Utilities Commission statement said the sun was expected to be obscured from 76 percent in Northern California to 62 percent in Southern California, “and this reduction in solar radiation will directly affect the output of both large-scale photovoltaic (PV) electric power plants and rooftop solar.”
“Nearly 10,000 MWs of commercially operational grid-connected solar PV is currently operated by California's investor-owned utilities, and more will soon be completed,” the CPUC statement said. “Initial estimates show at the eclipse peak, commercial solar production for the investor-owned utilities will be reduced from an estimated 8,754 MWs to 3,143 MWs at the maximum partial eclipse and then return to 9,046 MWs.”
“The normal morning solar ramp will be interrupted with a down ramp beginning at 9:02 a.m. followed by a greatly accentuated up ramp beginning at 10:22 a.m. until noon,” the CPUC statement added.
California is not expected to experience another eclipse of this magnitude until 2045. But more importantly, an eclipse like this has never happened while California has depended so much on solar power.