COLUMBUS, Ohio — Solar panels take energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. 

What You Need To Know

  • The solar eclipse will cause solar energy generation to plummet 

  • Solar power operators will tap into energy reserves and other forms of renewable energy to prevent a blackout

  • If your home runs on solar energy, you shouldn't experience any interruption in your electricity

Harnessing solar energy might be a little difficult during the solar eclipse because it could take a couple of hours for the eclipse to run its course, causing a strain on some energy transmission lines. During the 2017 eclipse, solar power generation dropped significantly more than if it was a normal cloudy day.

Solar panel operators will have to tap into other forms of renewable energy in order to supplement the sun. About 4.2 million American homes run on solar, and one solar energy expert said solar panel operators are prepared to tap into local reserves and energy storage so homes and communities don’t experience a blackout or loss of electricity. 

“They can tap into the energy that's generated by other sources,” said Mona Dajani, who serves as the global co-chair of energy infrastructure and hydrogen at the global law firm Baker Botts. “It could be wind and solar and hydroelectric, and we save those, you know, with energy storage. Then they also can import electricity to and from the grid as needed.”

Dajani said that with planning and preparation, solar energy can be just as reliable as any other form of electricity. 

“There are ways to compensate when it's cloudy and compensate when there's a total eclipse of the sun,” Dajani said. “I think the takeaway is that it's safe, it's reliable, it's creating so many jobs here in the United States and most importantly, it's keeping our earth green.”