In addition to planning to increase the power supply for the exponential growth of the Valley and transitioning to more renewable sources, we also prepare for all types of weather events, including solar eclipses.
Despite how rarely these phenomena occur, solar eclipses have a slight impact to our power system. We typically expect the greatest impact to be noticed on our utility-scale solar farms and to rooftop solar panels.
Solar eclipses result in a modest reduction of solar production overall, which increases our net load and reduces generation. Fortunately, we have available resources that will be able to ramp up quickly to respond to the change in demand.
According to NASA, any variations of a solar eclipse can happen at maximum five times per year. Ahead of any solar eclipse, we work closely with the National Weather Service to plan for accurate weather and solar forecasts. We rely on our flexible natural gas-fired generation and battery storage resources to mitigate the impacts of the solar eclipse.
There are also several steps that can be taken to ensure we are able to adequately respond to these events, including limiting any testing on our generation facilities, adjusting bid strategies for specific units in the electricity market, and collaborating with other electrical utilities to investigate potential impacts and solutions.
We want to assure our customers that we are prepared for solar eclipses and will continue to provide reliability, sustainability, affordability – done responsibly.