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Solar Eclipse: CPUC requests local governments join the State in drastically reducing power consumption

From: Baker, John C. <"Baker,>
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 15:48:50 +0000

Dear Community Leader(s),

On August 21, the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States since 1979 will temporarily darken skies across the country. In California, the eclipse will impact energy supply by reducing solar energy supplies for more than two hours, and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is asking for your help.

While the eclipse will not be total in California, the percentage of the Sun covered will vary from about 60 percent in the southernmost areas of the state to 76 percent in the north. As less sunlight falls onto the Golden State, one of our greatest sources of "clean" power will see its output fall significantly. California's commercial solar plants are expected to drop from an estimated 8,754 megawatts as the Moon begins to pass in front of the sun to just 3,143 at maximum eclipse - a 5,611 megawatt drop. For reference, the average nuclear power station worldwide generates about 846 MW.

When combined with similar drops in the output of "behind the meter" home and business solar panels, which may mean even more power than usual is drawn by those buildings because they are not generating as much of their own power, the CPUC is anticipating there will be significant additional demands on the electric grid.

Government buildings and other facilities are significant users of electricity. With that in mind, the CPUC is requesting local governments across California to join the State Government in drastically reducing its power consumption between 9 a.m. and 11: 30 a.m. on August 21. The less energy those facilities consume, the less additional unclean power needs to be generated.

In the next few weeks, expect CPUC local liaisons to contact your cities to share energy-saving tips, ask if your community has a plan to reduce its energy use, and if we can share any such plan on the CPUC website as an inspiration to your municipal peers. The CPUC will also be sharing tips that local governments can use and pass on to their residents (examples and a sample resolution are attached).

Please feel free to contact the CPUC with any questions or help with your plan.

John C. Baker
Executive Division, Local Government Liaison
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco CA 94102
(415) 703-1568 / john.baker_at_(domainremoved)

Received on Thu Jul 20 2017 - 08:54:28 PDT

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