SDG&E prepared to face solar eclipse

20 August 2017 (Last Updated August 20th, 2017 18:30)

US-based utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has revealed that it has enough energy to power San Diego during the solar eclipse, which is set to occur on 21 August.

US-based utility San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has revealed that it has enough energy to power San Diego during the solar eclipse, which is set to occur on 21 August.

Termed ‘The Great American Eclipse’, US residents are expected to see a total solar eclipse, while other countries on the continent may witness a partial eclipse.

The event will cause a drop in solarpower generation. SDG&E is expecting to lose 500MW of energy, which is around 14% of the electricity being consumed on a typical day in San Diego. Despite this, the company has been preparing for months to ensure a steady flow of energy to its customers.

"We want to reassure our customers that we have secured enough resources to meet their energy needs, even with significantly less solar generation on hand."

SDG&E chief operating officer Caroline Winn said: “Predicting how the obstructed sun will interfere with solar production has added another level of complexity, but we want to reassure our customers that we have secured enough resources to meet their energy needs, even with significantly less solar generation on hand.”

The utility is planning to use natural gas and energy storage facilities to cover the power gap. It has also advised its customers to adjust their thermostat to 78°F (25.5°C) for air conditioning (AC), and to avoid charging electric vehicles during peak demand hours.

To save energy during the eclipse, SDG&E has also suggested customers do laundry and other electricity-consuming tasks during off-peak hours.