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California power grid survives solar eclipse unscathed 

SF Gate, By David R. Baker, August 21, 2017 
FOLSOM, Sacramento County — Monday’s partial eclipse statewide took a sharp, sudden bite out of solar power production in California. And the electricity grid survived just fine.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the state’s fast-multiplying solar farms were plunged into semi-darkness, just when they would normally be revving up.

At the control center for California’s electricity grid in Folsom, display screens showed solar generation plummeting as the eclipse neared its midmorning peak. Electricity from hydroelectric dams and natural gas power plants surged to pick up the slack.

Then, as the sunlight returned, solar power rebounded even more quickly than it dropped, while hydropower tailed off.

“If there’s any doubt about how planning pays off, we demonstrated it this morning,” said Eric Schmitt, vice president of operations for the California Independent System Operator. “We didn’t have any major challenges on the system, even minor challenges. We’re very pleased with how smoothly it went.”

 Monday’s event turned into a test for how well an electricity system increasingly reliant on renewable resources can handle an eclipse. California uses far more solar electricity than any other state. Enough large solar facilities have been installed so far to produce — at maximum — more than 10,000 megawatts of electricity, the output of 10 nuclear reactors. Each megawatt supplies 760 typical homes……..

August 23, 2017 - Posted by | general

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