PG&E Customers Will Be Unaffected by Solar Drop-Off During Eclipse

August 18, 2017 16:00 pm · 11 comments

Electrical customers in the Bay Area should be more or less unaffected by a drop in solar power generated during Monday’s solar eclipse because PG&E has measures in place to ensure uninterrupted service, utility officials said today.

“We anticipate that no one will lose service,” PG&E spokesman Matt Nauman said during a news conference this morning at the utility’s distribution control center in Concord.

Meteorologists are expecting a potential drop-off of 2,600 megawatts of solar energy, nearly 20 percent of the 13,500 megawatts they anticipate customers to be using during that timeframe.

On a typical summer day, roughly one-third of the power generated in PG&E’s service area comes from renewable energy sources like solar.

“We had a wet winter, so we have plenty of hydro we can use,” Nauman said. “We’re not expecting any outages.”

Utility officials are expecting a 75 percent reduction in energy from rooftop solar sources, but there will be other sources available and most customers shouldn’t see any significant impacts or increased costs, according to PG&E.

PG&E meteorologist Scott Strenfel said the Bay Area may experience partial cloud cover Monday morning, especially along the coast. The eclipse will likely be more visible in the East Bay.

Strenfel also advised viewers to “never look directly at” the eclipse.

The solar eclipse will begin locally at 9:02 a.m. Monday, peak at about 10:15 a.m., and end at 11:54 a.m., according to PG&E.

RELATED STORY: Californians Asked to Reduce Energy Use During ‘Great Solar Eclipse’

1 Jerk August 18, 2017 at 4:12 PM

This is embarrassing. What do they do in the winter or at night?
PS – Solar Peak time for solar panels is Not until Noon, not 10am.

2 Original G August 18, 2017 at 5:22 PM

Now they tell us, after we’ve made stationary bicycle stands and mounting generators to the wheels. Guess now we won’t have to connect them up to the power grid after all.

“A website was unveiled last month by the San Francisco-based California Public Utilities Commission to call on California residents to reduce energy use during The Great Solar Eclipse.”
Wait a minute, that came from California Public Utilities Commission.
An here all this time we thought they knew what they were doing. Hmm ?

WELL just so it isn’t a total loss, after the eclipse lets all go out and pet a Delta Smelt then hug a tree.

3 Sam August 18, 2017 at 5:40 PM

I don’t know what to do, who to believe! Who should I follow? CPUC or PGE?? Does Marky or Jerry have a suggestion? The great solar eclipse is coming!! Help me, the sky is falling!

4 AlwaysBePositive August 18, 2017 at 6:00 PM

In the recent past, as much as 40% of CA’s energy was being supplied by solar energy. Not surprisingly, that was during the day. The grid is impacted by cloudy days, electricity must be used as it is created. A large portion of our energy is used ‘pushing’ electricity through the wires.

The reason we are being asked to conserve is because this is an anomalous event that lasts a short time, but has a dramatic impact on energy creation.

5 Simpleisine August 18, 2017 at 6:13 PM

I dont even care…

6 paranoid pablito August 18, 2017 at 6:33 PM

I already bought a generator, and now they tell me. Dangit!!
By the way, I’ve been staring right at the sun on and off for a few days now. You should all be doing this. It helps your eyes acclimate so on Monday, you don’t need those dumb glasses. This headache, though.
Disclaimer: this was not a serious post. Do not attempt. Mr. Mayor doesn’t need a lawsuit, I’m sure.

7 Original G August 18, 2017 at 6:55 PM

Guess maybe they should not have torn down all those peaker power generation plants built in 1990s and early 2000s which used to take care of the peak demand problems.

Early morning peak demand starts between 4-5 am then tapers down about 8 am before solar is even producing. Second peak of the day begins 4-5 pm as solar output is dropping rapidly lasting until 8-9 pm.

Wonder if campaign contributions from perhaps battery makers had any role in events resulting in those peaker plants being torn down to intentionally create problems batteries could fill ?

NAW, they’re all ethical and wouldn’t do something like that.

8 whodat August 18, 2017 at 10:30 PM

Duh! It’s like 10 AM, so only the idiotic will be running their AC’s. Lights will come on, but they do that EVERY FREAKIN’ NIGHT. If PG&E has a problem with this eclipse the PUC should revoke their charter, take away their business license, and execute their leadership.

9 Chicken Little August 19, 2017 at 7:54 AM

I would expect at least a 20% reduction in demand in the Bay Area, since half the people who live here are in Oregon to view the eclipse.

10 Shoulda Coulda August 19, 2017 at 11:09 AM

Is PG&E the new host of the TV show Fear Factor.

11 Rob U August 19, 2017 at 1:49 PM

Oh my, I am so relieved! Thank you PG&E for telling us this!
I was worried to death about this and losing sleep too!
The thought of a cloud, yet alone the Moon blocking out the Sun light for an hour had me terrified! I’ve been waiting for Gov. Brown , Pelosi ,Swalwell and DeSaulnier to re assure us too!!!! NOT!!
*** I’m being sarcastic, folks***

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