APS is prepared for solar eclipse, impact on solar energy generation

Excitement is building across the United States for a total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. The event will first be seen in North America in Mazatlán, Mexico, and the ‘path of totality’ will cut through the heart of the U.S. from Dallas to Little Rock, Indianapolis to Buffalo, before wrapping up north of Montreal, Canada.


In the Phoenix area, maximum impact will be approximately 64% sun coverage. The eclipse will be visible just after 10 a.m., with the peak at 11:20 a.m. It will end at 12:35 p.m.


APS resource planning experts have been coordinating with forecasters to determine the most accurate impacts of the eclipse. Even a partial eclipse will affect solar power generation in Arizona.  At the 11:20 a.m. peak, assuming clear skies, APS expects to experience a reduction of about 235 megawatts (MW) of reduced utility scale and 893 MW of rooftop solar production. For perspective, 1,128 MW would provide power to 180,480 homes.


APS is ready for the event with an adequate supply of power. Maintaining a diverse mix of energy resources, including energy storage, means APS will continue to sustain grid reliability and the service customers count on.


Chart showing the eclipse and it's impact on solar generation


The last solar eclipse event in Arizona was in October. Although that eclipse had nearly 80% coverage, it had less of an impact on APS energy generation, because it occurred earlier in the morning. It will be a long time – 2044 - before the next solar eclipse is visible in the U.S.


An image of a solar eclipse.

APS serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is a leader in delivering affordable, clean and reliable energy in the Southwest. The company is committed to serving customers with 100% clean power by 2050. As owner and operator of Palo Verde Generating Station, the nation’s largest producer of carbon-free electricity, and with one of the country’s most substantial renewable energy portfolios, APS’s current energy mix is 51% clean. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).

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