ERCOT Expects No Grid Concerns During Eclipse

Sun setting behind the silhouette of electricity pylons | Image by evening_tao/Freepik

Next month’s total solar eclipse is sure to darken our skies and drop jaws, but what will it do to the power grid?

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has revealed its expectations for grid conditions for April 8 with the arrival of a total solar eclipse.

ERCOT announced in a social media post on Tuesday that the eclipse will pass over its region of service between 12:10 p.m. and 3:10 p.m. on April 8. Although some impacts are expected for solar power generation, there are currently no grid reliability concerns.

“ERCOT has been proactively working on forecasting models to reflect reduced solar power production (similar to a sunset and sunrise in the middle of the day) and does not expect any grid reliability concerns during the eclipse,” the organization posted on X. “ERCOT will continue to monitor conditions and keep the public informed through our communications channels.”

“The maximum impact will occur around 13:40, reducing solar generation to about 7.6% of its maximum clear sky output. ERCOT is working with solar forecast vendors to ensure the forecasting models account for the impact of the eclipse,” reads a report from ERCOT acquired by NBC 5 DFW. “ERCOT will pre-posture the system as necessary to meet both the down and up solar ramps and use Ancillary Services for additional balancing needs.”

Concerns about power grid stability arose last year in October when an annular solar eclipse passed across Texas. ERCOT announced at the time that it would still be able to meet the demand for power despite similarly decreased solar energy production.

Multiple venues across North Texas and residents are gearing up to view next month’s total eclipse. This will be the first time in over a century that the City of Dallas is a prime viewing location for such a celestial event, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Public locations in Dallas that will offer viewing events for the April 8 solar eclipse include The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Downtown Dallas Inc., Frontiers of Flight Museum, Hilton Anatole, and more, according to Visit Dallas. Residents are also encouraged to watch from neighborhood parks or their yards but are advised to do so only with the proper eyewear.

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