TVA’s Electric Grid to Experience “Minimal Impact” from Solar Eclipse

Aug 3, 2017

Credit Tennessee Valley Authority via Facebook

Solar farms and panels in the path of totality will lose power during the August 21 solar eclipse -- but the Tennessee Valley Authority says its electric grid is ready.

The agency supplies energy to seven states, including Tennessee and 28 counties in west and central Kentucky. TVA Spokesperson Jim Hopson said the agency expects minimal impact on the local grid. Hopson said TVA’s power generation comes from nuclear, natural gas, coal, hydroelectric and wind.

“As the eclipse may impact our solar generation we have reserve capacity from all our other generation sources that will ensure the lights stay on,” Hopson said.

In 2016, wind and solar energy only supported 3% of TVA’s generation portfolio with 14 solar sites and one wind-energy site.

Hopson said solar plants in the path of totality will produce no output and plants nearby the path will have reduced yields. He said TVA consumers can use electricity during the eclipse as they normally would.

TVA operates a 41-kilowatt solar site in Bowling Green, which will be in totality for 48 seconds.