While the great coast-to-coast eclipse of 2017 was a spectacle to behold, workers at power grid operators and solar plants were holding their breath for different reasons.
Even though only a 70-mile swath of land was plunged into darkness for a maximum of 2 minues and 40 seconds, the entire continent of North America (with the exception of the extreme arctic) saw reduced insolation on August 21.
Grid operators took this opportunity to field test large scale contigency plans and managed to succesfully employ gas and hydro spinning reserve plants during the eclipse.
California, one of the furthest developed states when it comes to Solar Power, was not in the path of totality, lost 3,400MW of solar capacity according to a statement made by Eric Schmitt, VP-Operations of California ISO. This was less than the 4,600MW forecast, and overall the grid operator is looking back positively on the outcomes.