• POSOCO expects close to 12 GW of solar power generation loss to the Indian grid during solar eclipse on June 21, 2020
  • It sees minimum impact of rooftop solar though even as average solar generation ramp down rate will be 102 MW per minute and ramp up rate will be 104 MW per minute
  • To compensate for the loss in power from solar power capacity, POSOCO has directed states to be ready with hydro, gas and thermal power reserves to mitigate any contingency

With 34.6 GW of solar PV installed by March 31, 2020 and constituting 9% of all grid connected installed power generation capacity of India, officials managing India’s power grid expect reduced solar power generation during the length of  the June 21, 2020 solar eclipse. They have started gearing up for the d-day prepping fast ramp-up of hydro power and natural gas to compensate for lack of solar power into the grid.

The cumulative installed power generation capacity of India as on March 31, 2020 was 370.106 GW.

The Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POSOCO) under the Government of India has released a report titled Indian Power System likely impacts and preparedness-A report, which estimates that solar generation will be reduced by 11.943 GW at the climax of the solar eclipse comparing the time to a normal clear sky day which would be IST 11.50 AM.

Maximum reduction will be experienced in the southern region with 4.721 GW, followed by a loss of power from 4.514 GW in the northern region, and 2.72 GW in the western region between IST 11.47 AM to 11.50 AM.

POSOCO says India’s average solar generation ramp down rate is expected to be 102 MW per minute while the ramp up rate will be 104 MW per minute. There’d be a minimum impact of solar rooftops, the report states. The POSOCO report also assessed irradiance data of the previous solar eclipse for various solar parks the country experienced on December 26, 2019.

Along with the solar eclipse, cloud cover due to the onset of monsoons in the country has also been factored in by analysts as has been the fact that the day is a Sunday which means there’d be reduced electricity demand compared to a weekday. Contributing to reduced power demand will be also the lockdown measures in place due to COVID-19.

“The management of likely reduction in solar generation of 8,900 MW with a ramp down rate of 102 MW per minute and increase of 10,362 MW after maximum eclipse time with a ramp up rate of 104 MW per minute requires high ramping resources with flexible characteristics. The high ramping resources such as hydro and gas available in Northern, Southern and Western region is proposed to be scheduled. All the states are advised to keep the sufficient reserves in their hydro, gas and thermal plants to mitigate any contingency during real time,” said POSOCO.

The path of visibility of the solar eclipse will start from Dwarka in Gujarat at IST 09.56 AM and end at Dibrugarh in Assam at IST 14.29 PM. It will also be visible from northern states of Rajasthan, New Delhi, Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The report can be viewed and downloaded online from POSOCO’s website for free.