SDG&E will have enough power when solar generation drops during eclipse

Posted at 1:16 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-17 18:57:05-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Gas and Electric said Thursday it has enough energy to power San Diego during Monday's eclipse, when solar generation will drop.

The company is expecting to lose 500 megawatts of solar generation on Monday, August 21. That amount of power accounts for 14 percent of what customers typically consumer on a warm summer day, said SDG&E.

More than 114,000 homes and businesses in San Diego County have rooftop solar installations. In total, they can produce 760 megawatts of solar energy: more than any single power plant connected to the SDG&E power grid.

During the eclipse, SDG&E will cover the loss of solar-generated power with natural gas facilities and energy storage.

Power grid operators have spent months preparing to meet customer demand.

"Managing and operating a power grid is a 24/7 job and while we plan ahead, there are often quick decisions that need to be made to maintain a balance between the exact amount of electricity at the exact time to consistently meet the energy needs of the region," said Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E. "Predicting how the obstructed sun will interfere with solar production has added another level of complexity, but we want to reassure our customers that we have secured enough resources to meet their energy needs - even with significantly less solar generation on hand."

SDG&E is encouraging customers to make small, energy-saving changes.

  • Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees
  • Avoid charging your electric vehicle during peak demand hours
  • Don't do laundry during peak demand hours
  • Run your dishwasher early in the day or late at night