Don’t be in the dark: everything you need to know about the total solar eclipse

A spectacular and once-in-a-lifetime event is drawing lots of attention. On April 8, Texans and visitors flocking to our state will have a front-row view of a total solar eclipse.

During the eclipse, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth – completely blocking the sun for approximately four minutes, for those in the path of totality, and turning our sky dark.

So, what does this mean for CPS Energy customers? In the video and blog below, the Director in our Energy Market and Supply Operations team, Michael Hale and Chief Meteorologist, Brian Alonzo cover questions regarding the preparation efforts CPS Energy has made ahead of the total solar eclipse.

What happens during a total solar eclipse?

As Brian explains it, during a total solar eclipse the moon moves closer to the Earth, blocking the sun completely.  The total solar eclipse will pass over North America from the southwest to the northeast, reaching Texas around 12:14 p.m. and resulting in four minutes of complete darkness from 1:34 – 1:38 p.m. for those in the path of totality.

How will this affect CPS Energy’s solar generation?

CPS Energy anticipates having enough power to serve our community on April 8. As the solar eclipse passes through Texas, we will see solar production decline. During a total solar eclipse, the difference is a more rapid decline in solar, followed by a rapid increase once the eclipse passes through the state. This is not new to CPS Energy—it’s similar to when the sun sets at night, and we experience a decline in solar production.  

While the path of the solar eclipse does not pass directly over CPS Energy’s solar resources, we will see a reduction in solar resources due to the path of totality of the solar eclipse being near three solar farms. Once the eclipse passes through, solar generation will begin to ramp back up. CPS Energy will defer maintenance activities on dispatchable generation resources, resources like our gas units, in the event that those units are needed.

What is the difference between the total solar eclipse and the October annular eclipse?

The difference between an annular eclipse and a total solar eclipse is the position of the moon. During the annular eclipse, the moon was further away from the Earth and didn’t completely block the Sun. This caused a “Ring of Fire” that viewers were able to see. During a total solar eclipse, the moon will be closer to the sun and, for those in the path of totality, completely cover all light.

How can the community view the solar eclipse safely?

The most important item to have when viewing the total solar eclipse are ISO-certified solar viewing glasses. It is not safe to look at the sun without them.

The viewing of the total solar eclipse will be dependent on cloud coverage. Possible rain and early morning fog are common in the forecast around this time of year and could impact the viewing of the eclipse. So, let’s hope for a clear sky to view this once-in-a-lifetime celestial event.

If you or your family are planning to head out and view this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, CPS Energy wishes everyone a safe viewing. If you have photos you would like to share, tag us on social media at @cpsenergy on X, @cps_energy on Instagram and CPS Energy on Facebook.

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