Home » Anticipating the Next Solar Eclipse: CAISO Gears Up for April 8 Event

Anticipating the Next Solar Eclipse: CAISO Gears Up for April 8 Event

Updated March 11, 2024


Anticipating Next Solar Eclipse CAISO Gears Up April 8 Event

In anticipation of the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, let's take a moment to reflect on the challenges and successes of the previous eclipse in October 2023. During the October eclipse, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) faced a significant challenge as an annular solar eclipse dimmed 9.374 GW of solar power while gross load increased by 2.374 GW.


The eclipse began in Oregon at 9:13 am PT and ended in Texas at 12:03 pm CT, with the moon passing in front of the sun, appearing slightly smaller and not blocking the entire solar disk. CAISO's Balancing Authority Area experienced sun obscuration ranging from 89% in Northern California to 68% along the Southern California coast from about 8:05-10:57 am PT.


To ensure grid reliability during the eclipse, CAISO collaborated with interstate and intrastate gas suppliers, hydro, and battery resources to manage large ramps. Market notifications and operating instructions were issued to require renewable and battery resources to follow Dispatch Operating Target. Additionally, a Minimum State-of-Charge tool was used to ensure storage resources were charged in real-time, enabling them to deliver on their day-ahead schedules.


CAISO's battery storage capacity has grown significantly in recent years, reaching 5.888 GW by the end of Q2, a 35% increase from the previous year and over 200% higher than two years ago. California leads the US in solar capacity, with 17.934 GW by the end of Q2, managed by CAISO for about 80% of California and a small part of Nevada.


As we look forward to the next solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, let's draw inspiration from the lessons learned and the successful management of energy resources during previous eclipses. CAISO's proactive approach and innovative strategies position them well to navigate the challenges of future solar events and continue leading the way towards a sustainable energy future.
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Author & Data Analyst

Geraldine Dimalaluan, a seasoned data analyst, applies her analytical prowess to unravel the intricacies of solar trends. With a wealth of experience, she brings a data-driven perspective to the quest for a more sustainable future.