Californians urged to save energy during solar eclipse

Californians have been asked to save energy during next month’s eagerly-anticipated solar eclipse to help reduce the strain on the state’s solar power resources.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has set up the CalEclipse.org website, where Californians are urged to “do your thing for the sun,” by reducing energy usage from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT during the Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

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The Commission notes that as the solar eclipse passes over the Pacific Northwest, it will affect solar resources providing power to California’s grid.

“We have plenty of wind, geothermal, hydro, and natural gas to make sure the grid runs smoothly during the solar eclipse, but we also have a lot of Californians who want to do their California thing and step in to help replace the sun when it takes a break,” explained CPUC President Michael Picker, in a blog post. “When we come together to do one small thing to reduce energy usage, we can have a major impact on our environment.”

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Californians visiting CalEclipse.org can pledge to cut their energy usage by replacing lightbulbs with LEDs, turning off lights, unplugging appliances not in use and turning up their air conditioner thermostats by 2 to 5 degrees. Residents of the state are also urged not to charge their electronics during the eclipse.

CPUC says that during the solar eclipse the moon will obscure 58 to 76 percent of the Sun’s rays, depending on where solar power resources are located. This will result in a temporary loss of 4,194 megawatts to the state’s solar electricity capacity.

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