On Monday, Aug. 21, a total eclipse will slice across the United States for the first time since 1918. It will take just 93 minutes for the eclipse to move across the entire country, and it will appear only briefly.
Since the last coast-to-coast eclipse nearly a century ago, solar generators have come to provide a small but growing piece of the nation’s energy needs, and the eclipse will at least partially obscure the sun for approximately 1,900 utility-scale plants. More than 21 GW of solar capacity will be impacted, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
While the impact is minor on a broad scale—utility-scale solar provides less than 1 percent of the United States’ electricity use—utilities in specific regions see the impact as large enough to develop contingency plans. Continue reading