Duke Energy is preparing for a drastic loss of solar energy during the eclipse later this month.
Gas plants will stand by to slowly ramp up power production into the energy grid, according to Duke Spokeswoman Tammie McGee, adding that the utility has to make similar adjustments every day.“This is just a scenario when things are going to happen faster than we're used to,” McGee said. “But we have done weeks and weeks of study and preparation, so everything should go smoothly on the day of the eclipse.”
North Carolina is the second largest consumer of solar energy in the country, but McGee said solar makes up only makes up five-percent of the utility's portfolio.
McGee said customers should see no interruption of power during the eclipse.
“What we're going to do to prepare for it is have gas plants standing by and we're going to curtail some of the solar ahead of the eclipse so that we're slowly bringing solar off-line as we're bringing gas plants online,” she said.
The moon will block out the sun over North Carolina on the afternoon of Monday, August 21st.