Utility companies not worried about loss of energy during eclipse
REDDING, Calif. – Utility companies across the country are keeping an eye on the upcoming solar eclipse. They’re anticipating a higher need for electricity as solar energy drops during the event.
At PowerHouse Solar in Redding, employees said they expect to see a slight increase in phone calls from the event.
Executive Assistant Don Shaw said, “We expect to see maybe a few but we’re going to be putting information on our Facebook page for all of our customers to keep them all well informed.”
Shaw said the drop in sunlight will drop power generation but will be no different than a cloudy afternoon. But officials say the total drop in energy across the state could cause some issues.
“All of our customers are grid tied so every night and on a cloudy day, during the winter time, as the system produces less the grid makes up for it,” said Shaw.
According to the California Independent System Operator Corporation (CAISO) their system would lose 6,008 megawatts (MW) of energy forcing the regular power grid to pick up the slack.
Marvin Briggs, Energy Management Manager for the City of Redding, said they expect their system to set well with the increase in demand. Briggs added current power generation would increase to mid range similar to when there is a small outage.
Paul Moreno with PG&E expected his company to have no issues with the solar eclipse as well, with several ways available to juggle power needs.