EPRI Podcast: Impact of the Eclipse
Ben York is currently a technical leader in EPRI's Distributed Energy Resources area, focusing on systems integration and interconnection issues.
Aidan Tuohy is a Senior Project Manager in the Grid Operations, Planning and System Studies group at the Electric Power Research Institute. He has worked with EPRI since October 2010, and is the task force lead on their research program on integration of variable generation.
On August 21, 2017, anxious crowds gathered around the county to witness a total solar eclipse.
"I didn't expect the experience to be as life-changing as it was," said Aidan Tuohy, EPRI Senior Project Manager for Grid Operations and Planning.
One of those gatherings took place at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Melton Hill dam recreational site near Knoxville, Tennessee. Included in the crowd was a team of EPRI researchers monitoring photovoltaic arrays located at the site.
"What we're most excited about is putting the eclipse in perspective. Based on all the data we've collected over the years at this site and many other sites, to see what an eclipse looks like versus cloud cover, versus an overcast day, and being able to plug that in to some of our research," said Ben York, EPRI Technical Leader in Distributed Energy Resources.
In addition to the TVA site, EPRI was also following the solar power output at eleven other solar plants in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona and Wisconsin. This research provided a broad view of what was happening across the country from totality to areas with only a partial eclipse.