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Source: Pixabay

How America's Utility Companies Successfully Prepared For Solar Eclipse

By Brian Spaen

The solar eclipse came and went on Monday, and much of the focus stayed on the shock and awe people experienced when viewing it. Despite various warnings of how the sun’s blockage could significantly impact solar generation and cause the electrical grid to freak out, there wasn’t any major issues across the board. 

More reliant states like California and North Carolina saw a huge dip in solar capacity, but utility companies prepared well in advance to use alternative sources during the blackout period. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which runs 80 percent of the grid, prepared for a loss of 4,300 megawatts. Based on initial estimates, 79 percent of that production actually fell by the time the eclipse came to a conclusion.

"We didn’t have any major challenges on the system, even minor challenges,” said Eric Schmitt, CAISO’s Vice President of Operations, in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We are very pleased about how smoothly it went … All the resources performed the way they were supposed to perform, our planning was excellent (and) the market performed well.”