Don't reach for a flashlight just yet.
The next total solar eclipse will be in 2024, so most of us will have another chance to see one! NASA said that five manufacturers have so far certified their eclipse classes and handheld solar viewers to meet the standards: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, Baader Planetarium (AstroSolar Silver/Gold film only), TSE 17, and Thousand Oaks Optical. The eclipse itself will take about 90 minutes to cross the United States. The generators will also be affected to a lesser extent throughout the entire eclipse, expected to last up to three hours.
The path of totality - where day briefly becomes night - will pass over OR, continuing through the heartland all the way to Charleston, South Carolina.
The "electric grid of tomorrow" will increasingly have to deal with fluctuating power supplies from the wind and sun while incorporating quick-start gas turbines during events like the upcoming eclipse, said Stephen Berberich, president of California ISO, the state's grid operator. Those plants are located primarily in North Carolina.
Utilities do that on a regular basis, albeit on a much smaller scale, when they reach out to "peaker" power plants, which, as their nickname implies, run when demand is higher, such as in the afternoon, or when the weather turns extreme.
Natural gas is about to get a glimpse of its future role in the USA power mix as solar energy's backup. If you glance at the Sun through your solar filter and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus, and/or surrounded by a bright haze, it's no good.
NASA recommends eclipse-viewing glasses, and handheld solar viewers should have an ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard, should have the manufacturer's name and address printed somewhere on the product, should not be older than three years and should be free of scratches and wrinkles.
North Carolina has the greatest amount of installed PV capacity in the band that will be at least 90% obscured, the EIA said.
700 Exposition Park Drive, Exposition Park (walkway near the parking structure); Sat. & Sun., Aug. 19-20, 11 a.m. -3:30 p.m.; eclipse viewing, Mon., Aug. 21, 9 a.m. -11:45 a.m.; free.
Duke Energy Corp. DUK, -0.54% one of the largest utilities in the state, estimates solar energy output will drop from about 2,500 megawatts to 200 megawatts in one and a half hours.
Total solar eclipses occur every year or two or three, often in the middle of nowhere like the South Pacific or Antarctic. The next USA coast-to-coast eclipse is not until August 12, 2045.