ISO-New England prepares electrical grid for total solar eclipse – MassLive.com

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While Monday’s total solar eclipse is on track to deplete some power grids from consuming the usual amount of energy that they would on any other day, ISO-New England has its own plan in place.

On April 8, the eclipse will be seen across North America, including 15 states from Texas to Maine, and is expected to draw out millions of people who want a full view of the eclipse along the path of totality.

The eclipse is also expected to cause a rapid decline in solar energy generation, leaving energy with dips in energy collection, Reuters reported.

“ISO-New England is going to be operating the power system on April 8 like any other day, but with this one thing that’s going to happen in the middle of it,” forecasting and scheduling manager Mike Knowland said in a short video released by ISO-New England on March 25. “That change is going to be driven by the sun being covered by the moon and impacting the power that’s generated from all the solar panels in New England.”

Once the eclipse starts in New England and the chance to collect solar energy goes away in New England, “we’ll need to replace all the power that’s being generated by the panels with other types of generation,” Knowland said.

The eclipse’s impact on ISO-New England could be 6,000 megawatts of solar power going offline, “which is about a third to half of the power system supply that we have,” Knowland said. This amount is “probably the equivalent of five nuclear power stations,” control room operations manager at ISO-New England Jon Gravelin told WCVB-TV.

Knowland recommended people download ISO-New England’s app or website to see the eclipse’s impact in real-time. Solar production will also ramp up when the eclipse ends, so “additional generation will need to be carefully reduced to maintain system balance,” ISO-New England said in a statement.

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