Nuclear Energy to the Rescue during today's Solar Eclipse
Today, people from around the world will witness the first total solar eclipse in almost a century.
North America will be a part of today's eclipse with the United States experiencing a stretch of the eclipse starting just after 10 a.m. local time in Oregon and ending just before 3 p.m. in South Carolina. Even though the totality of the eclipse is only 70 miles wide, the whole country (even Alaska and Hawaii) will experience a partial eclipse.
But what will happen to U.S. energy production, especially solar, during that time?
Solar energy production will halt totaling the equivalent of the amount of electricity produced by fifteen coal fired power plants. But the nation’s electrical grid is ready and nuclear plants will continue to provide the backbone of the system, and the lights will stay on in areas with diverse energy options such as nuclear, gas, and coal. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reports the eclipse will not create not reliability issues for the bulk power system.