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Georgia’s Electricity Providers Prepare For Eclipse

Solar panels cover cars parked in a lot nearby Centennial Olympic Park, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Atlanta. The Georgia chapter of Americans For Prosperity, founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, wants Georgia's utility regulators to reject a solar energy plan in Georgia. But an Associated Press review ahead of a vote on the issue finds that it has used misleading figures to build its case. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)
Solar panels cover cars parked in a lot nearby Centennial Olympic Park, Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Atlanta. The Georgia chapter of Americans For Prosperity, founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, wants Georgia's utility regulators to reject a solar energy plan in Georgia. But an Associated Press review ahead of a vote on the issue finds that it has used misleading figures to build its case. (AP Photo/Jaime Henry-White)
Credit JAIME HENRY-WHITE / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Georgia’s use of solar power is increasing. Michael Jones reports on how the state’s energy providers are preparing for Monday afternoon’s solar eclipse.

As we get ready to experience Monday’s solar eclipse, electricity providers are gearing up for the challenge of solar power quickly falling off the grid, and then returning.

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Georgia Power spokesman Jacob Hawkins says the company’s operators regularly deal with power fluctuations and are ready for the eclipse.

“We have very reliable baseload generation, which is what we call it from nuclear, and from coal and natural gas plants that are available for us all the time,” Hawkins said.

Georgia Power’s eclipse preparations are no big deal compared to a regular Georgia summer evening.

“So when it is 90 degrees at night, and the sun is going down and we’re not getting energy from solar generation, we have to be prepared to meet that demand when people are home and enjoying their air conditioning,” Hawkins said.

Cobb EMC’s Leslie Thompson says eclipse preps are easy, because you know exactly when it’s coming.

“It’s a little easier to predict the eclipse than to predict the weather. With the eclipse, we are able to plan obviously far in advance and know that we will be leaning more on other sources we have on hand rather than solar,” Thompson said.

Georgia is the third-fastest growing generator of solar power in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.