Aug. 21, 2017 – While California residents kept their eyes on the sky, the California Independent System Operator Corporation (California ISO), which oversees California’s energy, kept their eyes on the power grid. After months of preparation, Monday’s eclipse played out just as Cal ISO officials had planned.
“The grid handled the eclipse very well today and luckily the weather cooperated so we didn’t have the worry of a heat wave nor did we have any major transmission or generation outages or issues — we are very pleased the whole eclipse event went very smoothly,” said Steven Greenlee, Senior Public Information Officer for California ISO.
Depending on what part of California you watched the eclipse from, the moon blocked anywhere from 60% of the sun in the Southern most parts of the state, to 90% along the Northern border. The path of totality, which provided a total eclipse, covered a 3,000 mile path and spanned from Oregon across Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and finally South Carolina.
Traveling at a speed of 2,100 mph, the total eclipse was over from coast to coast in just 90 minutes.
As the state’s emergency managers, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services monitored the eclipse and the power grid from Cal OES headquarters in Sacramento. Several Cal OES employees were able to step outside for a few minutes during the peak eclipse and witness one of nature’s most impressive and elusive shows.
“Even though we’re in the business of being prepared for just about anything, it was still breathtaking to witness mother nature’s powerful eclipse – even from Sacramento,” said Tina Curry, Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention.
The last time a total solar eclipse occurred in the Lower 48 United States was in 1979. The next time it happens in the U.S. from coast to coast will be in 2045.