Solar eclipse will test Germany's green power grid

AP News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2015 12:45 PM

BERLIN (AP) — Will next week's partial solar eclipse turn off the lights in Germany?

Experts say the eclipse on the morning of March 20 will be a good test of the country's electricity grid, which relies increasingly on renewable energy.

The partial eclipse will cause a sudden drop and then a surge in solar-generated power, which contributed almost 6 percent to Germany's energy mix last year.

Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems said Friday it ran simulations showing that conventional power plants and hydroelectricity pump-storage facilities should cushion the impact of the eclipse. Scientists found that the strain on the grid would be greatest on a sunny day.

The eclipse will help grid operators plan for the next comparable event in 2026, when Germany expects to have shuttered its nuclear plants.