Solar Eclipse to Affect Solar Powered Generators across the US

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The nearing solar eclipse of August 21 will have an impact on solar power based electricity production in the U.S. As much as 1900 utility scale solar photovoltaic power plants will receive obscured sunlight as a result of this phenomenon. However, only a small solar photovoltaic capacity lies in the path of complete darkness where the moon will completely cover the sun. As per the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the solar eclipse is not expected to disrupt the bulk power system in the country.

Small Number of Solar Generators to be hit by Totality

Solar-powered generators that lie in the path of complete darkness will be the most affected, as the moon will obscure direct sunlight for up to three minutes. However, these generators will be affected for some time of the entire eclipse event, and not the complete three hours that it will last. Generators that do not lie in the path of complete darkness will be less affected, which will depend on how much sunlight is blocked. The path of complete darkness is expected to start in Oregon and move eastward to South Carolina in a duration of almost 90 minutes.

The phenomenon will majorly impact 17 utility-scale solar-powered plants that lie in the path of totality, most of which are in eastern Oregon. Besides this, hundreds of solar-powered plants with a capacity of about 4 GW, most of which are in North Carolina and Georgia will receive 90 percent obscured sunlight. Two plants of 2.2 GW and 3.9 GW capacity will receive at least 80 percent and 70 percent respectively obscured sunlight.

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