On August 21st, 2017, the first total eclipse that the continental U.S. has experienced in decades will occur. This event also represents the first total solar eclipse that the U.S. will experience since solar power has achieved mainstream adoption and will prove to be a test of new energy technologies.
Starting at approximately 9:02 AM, the moon will quickly obscure anywhere between 62 – 76% of the sun’s light, depending upon where the observer is in California. The California Public Utilities Commission estimates that this will result in a reduction of solar generation by as much as 5.6 GW, which represents approximately 10% of expected California load at the start of the eclipse. This means that California will have to resort to powering up extra power plants to meet electricity demand – power plants that send extra and unneeded pollution into our atmosphere.
Alternatively, one company is calling upon Californians to replace the energy needed from those dirty power plants by doing one simple thing: share energy during the eclipse from 10 – 11AM.
Just how much of an impact can Californians and energy sharing make on the grid during the eclipse? During a recent energy sharing event, the OhmConnect community shared over 16 MWh; enough electricity to fully power 20,000 average-sized Californian households for one hour. With almost 14 million residences in California, there are enough Californians to share thousands of MWs of power, which could make up ⅓ (33%!) of the energy shortfall caused by the eclipse. That’s a lot of offset dirty power.
Here’s a short list of how to best share energy during the eclipse to help prevent the use of dirty power.
- Flip off all those lights.
- Turn off the entertainment system.
- Make your coffee before 9AM!
- Hold off on household chores and relish in having a reason to procrastinate.
- Head outside and enjoy one of nature’s rarest spectacles! (Just make sure to protect your eyes with certified eclipse viewers)
There’s power in numbers. Sign up today to be reminded when the eclipse occurs and earn money for saving energy.