April 4, 2024

SPP prepared for April 8 eclipse, expects no significant impacts to grid reliability

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Southwest Power Pool (SPP) is prepared for the effects of the April 8, 2024, eclipse. The majority of SPP’s service territory will experience 50-75% eclipse coverage with a portion of the region and its operating center directly in the eclipse’s path of totality. Having evaluated worst-case scenarios and learned from the August 17, 2017, eclipse, which was the first to affect large portions of its territory, SPP expects no significant impacts to the grid or its operating center.

Central Arkansas, which is home to SPP’s offices and most of its staff, expects a significant influx of people looking to experience the eclipse’s totality. SPP is closely coordinating with state officials regarding impacts to traffic and communications and is confident it will be able to conduct business as usual on April 8.

Analysis has shown the eclipse’s total net impact to available generating capacity – including grid-connected and distributed solar – should remain below 1 gigawatt (GW) of reduced production. SPP has ample generating capacity provided by other resources (e.g. coal, natural gas, wind, nuclear, hydro and others) to make up for any potential loss and expects modest demand for electricity that day. Historically, region-wide demand for electricity in the SPP region in early April has typically peaked below 33 GW.

The Desert Southwest and Rocky Mountain regions, where SPP provides reliability coordination services, expect impacts similar to those experienced during the October 2023 partial eclipse.

While SPP does not expect significant impacts to electric reliability in its region, it remains in constant contact with its member utilities, neighboring reliability coordinators and peers across the nation.

Meghan Sever, (501)482-2393, msever@spp.org