How will the historic eclipse impact solar power?
The biggest solar eclipse in American history will darken the skies all across North America as the moon completely blocks the sun on August 21, and as solar experts, we’ve been fielding questions from the community about what kind of impact this exciting celestial event may have on solar energy production.
Depending on where you live, the eclipse may be nothing more than a temporary distraction from your daily routine — or it could be a massive headache requiring weeks of planning by public officials.
That’s because certain parts of the country rely heavily on solar energy to meet their daily power needs. The uncharacteristic period of daytime darkness will cause a major dip in solar-generated electricity — followed by a really big surge when the sun comes back out.
That’s the case in California, where solar power sometimes supplies up to 40 percent of the energy demand. The Golden State stands to lose 9,000 megawatts of power during the eclipse, according to estimates by Bloomberg — enough to power an entire city. That means the state needs to be ready to cover a temporary but major energy shortfall — as well as to manage the sudden sharp increase of energy flowing into the grid after the eclipse passes.
Meanwhile, here in New York, energy demand is met by a variety of sources, so the eclipse would not affect us the same way. In addition, since rooftop systems are connected to the grid, solar customers here are unlikely to experience any power interruption, even if the energy production of their individual systems temporarily slows or stops during the eclipse.
We are also outside of what’s known as the eclipse’s path of totality — meaning New Yorkers will only experience a partial eclipse.
So you can relax and enjoy: While the eclipse itself will be a historic event, its impact on the average New Yorker will not be much different than that of a partly cloudy day.
For more information about solar energy, please contact us at (914) 762-7622 or www.sunrisesolarllc.com.