Dec 26 eclipse to disrupt solar power output in TN, neighbours

The annular solar eclipse passing over India, particularly South India, on December 26, is going to be disruptive. Authorities have not only predicted strained cellphone networks, but even power is set to be affected on that particular day.
Dec 26 eclipse to disrupt solar power output in TN, neighbours


The solar eclipse will significantly diminish solar power generation capacity for a couple of hours on December 26, especially in South India which accounts for about 55 per cent of the total installed solar power capacity in the country. “The eclipse has the potential to cause a large variation in solar generation during clear sky conditions,” said a report on Solar Eclipse likely impacts and preparedness bythe government owned Power System Operation Corporation Limited (Posoco).

It has also been estimated that 12.73 MU of solar generation would be affected during the eclipse with a maximum of 7823 MW reduction at 9.30 am, out of which 5800 MW pertains to the Southern Region.

Among the southern states, the reduction in generation would be highest in Karnataka – 2,292 MW followed by Telangana – 1,372 MW, Andhra Pradesh – 1,131 MW and Tamil Nadu – 956 MW. Posoco has recommended utilities to make use of the hydro and gas power generation to tackle variation in ramp rates during the eclipse.

The report said that Tamil Nadu could utilise the hydro stations – Kadamparai 400 MW and Kundah 510 MW to meet variations in the solar generations. “At the peak of eclipse, all hydro stations generations need to be maximised and thermal generation needs to be ramped down so that maximum fast ramping hydro generation would be available for managing solar generation rise after eclipse,” it said.

A senior Tangedco official said that with the availability of the solar generation forecast, the grid management would be planned much ahead of December 26. “We will be able to manage the solar generation variations with our own generations from hydro and thermal plants,” the official said.

The solar annularity will be visible mainly in South India especially in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnatakaand Kerala while the rest of the country will witness partial eclipse of the Sun.

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