In case you haven’t heard, a total solar eclipse is imminent and it is creating a lot of excitement in the United States. As an Albertan, you may be curious to know whether you’ll get to share in our neighbor’s enthusiasm for this epic solar event.
Great news, you can! Well sort of. Depending on the weather and your exact location in Alberta, you too can experience an almost total solar eclipse, which is still a pretty incredible sight!
As a solar energy system owner, your enthusiasm may be tempered with concern about how this obstruction of the sun is going to impact on your system’s performance.
As you can see, the closer you are to the US border, the greater the area of sun will be covered. Those in Calgary will experience an 80% eclipse, but this will still cause a significant impact on your solar system’s performance during this time.
From 10.20am (MDT) when the moon first touches the edge of the sun until 11.33am your system will start decreasing in power. From 11.33am to 12.50pm when the eclipse ends, your system’s generation will begin returning to its optimum efficiency.
Steven Greenlee, a spokesperson for the California Independent System Operator, told Vox “Our solar plants are going to lose over half of their ability to generate electricity during the two to two and a half hours that the eclipse will be impacting our area.”
So yes, this solar eclipse is going to impact on your solar energy system’s performance. But you know what? It is going to be one very spectacular and rare event to behold. So grab some special eclipse glasses and find the best position to take full advantage of the view!