Sacramento-area residents headed outside this morning to view the solar eclipse, the first total eclipse in the United States since 1979 and the first to cross the entire U.S. in 99 years.E
State’s power grid weathered eclipse well
Noon: California's electricity supply breezed through the eclipse despite a temporary drop-off in solar power.
The Independent System Operator, which runs the state's power grid from its Folsom headquarters, said the grid lost about 3,000 megawatts of solar power as the eclipse reached its zenith. But within an hour or so, solar generation had jumped back up to normal levels.
"Solar came back dynamic, pretty dramatically," said Eric Schmitt, the ISO's vice president for operations.
State officials had asked Californians to conserve power during the eclipse, but relatively mild temperatures and an uptick in generation from other sources, including hydro and natural gas-powered plants, compensated for the downturn in solar.
State senator: ‘It’s so awesome’
11 a.m.: California State Sens. Scott Wiener and Ben Allen stood together as they stared at the sun through protective viewing glasses.
“It’s so awesome,” remarked Allen. “So cool.”
“Can I take a picture?” said Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, who joined them outside the Capitol a few moments later.
Eclipse viewer says experience was ‘incredible’
10:48 a.m.:Sarah Taylor organized a viewing party for her office at the California Environmental Protection Agency, hosting it in the conference room on the top floor of her building in downtown Sacramento.
Taylor said she bought welding glass and made a viewing device that she shared with others. Some people brought the own glasses and do-it-yourself viewing equipment, including “cereal boxes”.
“I just think it’s incredible,” Taylor said. “The (last) time this happened was before I was born. I’m kind of a space nerd, I think.”
Street lights come on during eclipse
10:25 a.m.: On K Street in downtown Sacramento, people took time out to view the eclipse. One groop said they got their glasses from from a young man who is an Eagle Scout. He bought them in buk, then sold frm for $5 apiece. One woman noticed that the street lights came on during the eclipse.
Lawmakers and families join in viewing
10:20 a.m: Lawmakers, their employees and other spectators gathered on the lawn outside the Capitol to observe the solar eclipse.
“Mommy, look at it!” yelled Sen. Janet Nguyen’s 4-year-old Timothy.
The senator brought Timothy and her other son Tommy, 6, to Sacramento this week. Both boys will join her on the Senate floor later Monday.
“I want them to see where Mommy works and be able to see the the Capitol and what that means,” said Nguyen, who first visited the Capitol at age 24.
“How cool is it to see the eclipse at the Capitol?” she added.
Viewers snap photos of shadows
10:11 a.m.: A group of eclipse watchers gathered at the International Wold Peace Rose Gardens at the Capitol. Most have viewing glasses, while others are taking photos of the shadows with their phone. A group of women who work the the public health office are taking time off work despite being “really busy.” They described the event at “very neat,” saying they had never seen an eclipse before
Crowd gathers for viewing at state Capitol
9:30 a.m. People are gathered outside the state Capitol, many wearing special glasses for viewing the eclipse. Several energy companies have set up informational booths.
Save energy to compensate for drop in solar megawatts
9 a.m.: Managers of the state’s power grid braced themselves Monday morning, pledging to ramp up other electricity generators to make up for the expected loss of solar power in the nation’s greenest state. Officials at the Independent System Operation, which runs the state’s power grid, and the California Energy Commission said they should have enough power from other sources to compensate for the drop in solar megawatts, But they asked Californians to conserve when possible when the eclipse started around 9 a.m.