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8/8/2017 by mdc
https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2017/08/08/americas-electrical-grid-p...
Dr. Conca reports that a solar eclipse will occur on August 21st and will have an interesting side effect of shutting off some electricity production in America as the shadow rolls across our ever-increasing number of solar arrays.

The shadow from the Moon will be 70 miles wide as it races across the U.S. at well over 1,000 miles per hour, from Portland, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina. On the way, it will cut solar power production by about 9,000 MW, about as much electricity as produced by 15 coal-fired power plants.

Then, the solar power will come roaring back as the shadow passes. But how do you keep the lights on when our Sun suddenly goes dark? The loss and rebound of generation is much larger than our electric grid usually faces, but with advance preparation, the grid will make it through the event just fine, largely because of the diversity of energy sources that we still have.

Nuclear plants will continue to provide the backbone of the system, and generators running on natural gas will power up quickly as the sun is blocked, and then power down even faster as the sun reappears, a costly but easy fix.

This energy diversity is critical because our energy system has to function through more and more frequent challenges, like extreme cold and Polar Vortices, water droughts and low mountain snowpack, heat waves with wind doldrums, and other problems. Those who think we should only have one type of energy, either just fossil fuel or just renewables, rarely consider the problems encountered by the lack of diversity.

Parts of twelve states will be totally darkened; many others will see the sun partly or mostly obscured. The eclipse will occur over almost a 3-hour period at each spot, but totality will only be about 3 minutes. California will not see a total eclipse, but the sun will be significantly obscured.

At peak sunshine, California gets 40% of its energy from solar panels, and it will lose nearly 75% of that during this eclipse.

Read on ...

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Open Resource  |  2017/08/08  |  90 Report Broken   Tell Friend

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