The European solar energy is bracing for the shock of a solar eclipse on the morning of 20 March 2015 that will last two hours and is expected to take
35,000 megawatts of electricity from the grid.
By comparison, a typical coal plant in the United States generates about 600 megawatts. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) calls the eclipse an “unprecedented test for Europe’s electricity system,” according to a report in the Financial Times (via MSN)
The concern over the event is unprecedented. With 3% of Europe’s electricity coming from solar power, the eclipses takes on a new significance.
“It’s definitely going to be a challenge for control rooms,” ENTSO-E spokesperson Claire Camus told the Financial Times.
Energy companies in Europe have been preparing for the eclipse for a year. There is a network of contacts among control rooms all over the continent, hoping to respond more effectively to problems such as power outages caused by the eclipse.
Timeanddate.com has a good page with details of the eclipse here.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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