As the moon revolves around the earth in a timeframe of 24 hours and the earth simultaneously revolves around the sun in a time frame of 12 months, occasionally a solar eclipse occurs. This happens exactly when the moon comes in the middle of the earth and the sun casting a huge shadow on the earth and thereby cutting off a huge supply of sunlight to the earth.
On the 21st of August, one such total solar eclipse will cut out ninety-eight percent of the sunlight that reaches Duke Energy’s solar plant in Monroe, S.C. According to the press release by the Duke energy the solar eclipse is predicted to glide across the U.S. and cast its dark shadow as it slowly weans away in an hour and a half.
It is estimated that the 500-acre solar commercial plant will produce considerably less solar energy because of the eclipse though the demand for light will surely drastically increase (since it will be dark outside without the sun shining).
It will take around 90 minutes for the moon to move completely away from the front of the sun, during this time the output of the solar plants will drop to 200 megawatts from the usual 2,500 megawatts that are produced on other days.
North Carolina is only second to California when it comes to the list of the highest solar power Production States in the U.S. On a nice sunny day – North Carolina is known to produce solar energy that is enough to light up as many as 600,000 houses.
Since no reliable and high capacity means of storing solar energy that is produced has been developed anywhere in the world, any solar energy system requires a backup on days when the sun is not shining at its fullest. A solar eclipse is surely one such day that requires a full proof backup plan so the requirement of light is fulfilled and there is no glitch.
As luck would have it the solar eclipse can be easily handled by the pre-planning of the power companies. The plants are well equipped as they rehearse every day when the sunsets and the sunlight vanishes and their alternative power sources have to come into play to hold the fort. Mostly these are gas powered generators or hydropower generators that are ready and placed for use as a backup system. Coal is a not commonly used as an alternative resource to produce energy since a coal generator takes a long time to power up and be brought up to the level of the solar or a wind energy unit.
All solar plants are always studying the demand for energy and when the demand surpasses the production (or supply) of solar energy from the plant the alternative resources are on standby to be powered up, and ready to support.
The Dukes Energy plant is also totally prepared to fulfill the demand of energy as darkest will fall on the 21st of August.
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