Image of solar eclipse over home with solar panels

Clean Energy Spotlight

April 5, 2024

How the Solar Eclipse Shines a Light on the Future of Renewables

To all you sun and celestial enthusiasts wondering how Monday's solar eclipse could impact the solar panels in affected areas, we have the answer.

In the rare and exciting time when the moon passes between the Earth and sun, all or part of the sun’s light is blocked from reaching the Earth. The upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8th is sure to be more than just a cosmic showstopper. It is also sure to shine a light on the power and impact of solar energy. Let's dive into how this celestial event illuminates the bright side of clean, renewable solar power!

What to Expect 
Though the eclipse is expected to begin shortly after noon in southwestern Texas and take approximately three hours to travel diagonally across the country into Maine, locally you may only feel the impact for a few minutes. 
Depending on where you live – whether you are in an area expecting a total or partial eclipse – even a total blackout will most likely not disrupt your energy use. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Solar Power Dip: During a solar eclipse, the amount of sunlight reaching Earth drops temporarily. This means there will be a slight dip in solar power generation, which is totally normal and expected.

  2. Bright Side of Batteries: Luckily, if you’ve got a battery storage system, you're all set! These batteries store excess solar energy, so when the eclipse dims things down a bit, you can tap into your stored power and keep the lights on.

  3. Grid Resilience: Solar powered homes without batteries will rely on the grid during the eclipse. No worries! Our energy grids are resilient and ready to handle these shifts, ensuring everyone stays powered up.

  4. Shine a Light on Efficiency: Solar eclipses also give us a chance to marvel at our solar system’s performance. It’s like a mini checkup for your energy setup, reminding us of the wonders of renewable energy.

The US solar industry installed 32.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity in 2023, a remarkable 51% increase over 2022.1 This exponential growth underscores the strides we’ve made in integrating solar energy into our electricity grid. 

In Conclusion 
Despite a brief and temporary dip in solar power generation during a solar eclipse, your solar panels and grid infrastructure will continue to work together seamlessly, showcasing their resilience and reliability, while decarbonizing the planet. Like a celestial dance, for homeowners with rooftop solar, this eclipse is just a blip on the radar, akin to a passing cloud.

A total eclipse is an opportunity to experience a rare celestial event. If you plan on watching the eclipse, remember to wear appropriate eye protection and don’t stare directly into the sun, even when it is completely darkened by the moon’s shadow.

1Source: Solar Energy Industries Association 

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