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In 1991 total solar eclipse passed over the United States. In 2017, on 20 August total solar eclipse will cross the US again. This time the US might need to prepare for this year eclipse because solar is an important source of energy for some US areas. In 2017, The US took 3rd place in the World by the Installed solar generating capacity that means strong dependence from the sun, about 26,4 GigaWatts of Solar Energy generated by the US. This Viz illustrates potential consequences of the total solar eclipse on the bulk power system. 

In this case, utility operators must be ahead of the game, when a steep drop in solar power will be. As reported by The Arizona Solar Center, because of the eclipse, when the shadow of the moon will darken the skies, it is expected that more than 70 MW a minute will be knocked.

  • The moon's shadow will move from west to east, as NASA data reported the solar eclipse will pass through Central America: from Oregon to South Carolina.
  • And the duration of the total solar eclipse in the cities that lie close to the center of the path will be approximately 1-3 minutes.
  • Peak hours by forecasted energy ending load are from 4 am to 5 am for California, for example.

California, Nevada, South Carolina and other states are in the top 10 states with the greatest amount of total system PV nameplate capacities. The chart bellow compares total system solar generator nameplate capacities in the noted states with the forecasted noncoincident peak load of the states. This states will experience maximum obscuration among all US areas.

California, North Carolina, Utah and Nevada are expected to generate PV that coincides with their respective forecasted peak load. You can view relevant statistics in the visualizations below. For this 4 states nameplate percent change was calculated as ratio of basecase difference to forecasted peak load multiplied by 100). Utah's percent change will be the most severe, namely 27,9 %, whereas for Texas it is only 1.1%.

This is the fact, that in 2014, California produced no fewer than 5 percent of state's electricity from utility-scale solar plants, it is so called generators with at least one MegaWatt (MW) of capacity. Utility-scale facilities are almost two-thirds from total solar energy generation in California in February 2017, At the same time, more than 40% from total US solar energy is generated by California. That's why California is in the risk zone, where the transmission installed nameplate capacity for solar generation is very high, namely 11,444 MegaWatts. 


Read also: 

BP: Renewable Energy Consumption || Renewable Energy || US Solar Energy Profile


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