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Did The Solar Eclipse Overshadow The US Solar Panels

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Solar Power Performance During This Solar Eclipse

This Monday, August 21 was a total solar eclipse seen in the western part of the world. The moon almost fully covered the sun thus creating partial darkness. The eclipse took place from about 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. – peak time for solar energy production. With solar energy now becoming an integral part of the USA energy portfolio, it would be exciting to see how the solar eclipse affected their performance. The places where the effect was more pronounced were areas extending in between California to South Carolina.

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Duke Energy the leading US utility company had estimated solar power generation to decrease to 200 MW from an average 2,500 MW during these 90 minutes. When solar generation went off the cliff during the eclipse, the price of energy increased. After the eclipse when solar power generation increased, the prices were down again. The grid operators across the country did their job well in managing the energy fluctuation. A stable grid and the predictable outcome of solar generation during the eclipse helped to control the situation better.

Another utility company PJM Interconnection which had also expected demand to increase as a result of lesser output from rooftop solar panels saw a net decrease in demand for electricity as customers were out witnessing this celestial event. Overall the process went smooth.

“PJM had expected a reduction in power from rooftop panels to result in an increase in electric demand on the grid,” said spokesman Jason McGovern.

Source: Reuters

The solar output did drop to 100 MW at the height of the eclipse. Also, energy consumption was low as people were mostly outside witnessing this magnificent phenomenon. The eclipse was also historic as the previous one was witnessed almost two decades earlier, in 1991 in the US.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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