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How Solar Panels are Impacted by a Total Solar Eclipse

How Solar Panels are Impacted by a Total Solar Eclipse | Solar panel output decreases 90% during an eclipse but the electric grid adapts. The effects are temporary—solar panels and the grid remain undamaged. Grab your solar eclipse glasses to view this celestial spectacle!
total solar eclipse over solar panels
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    Solar Panel Output Plummets During an Eclipse

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy, during a total solar eclipse, solar panel output can decrease by up to 90% as the moon blocks the sun. The solar panels are unable to absorb the sunlight necessary to generate electricity.

    NREL study showing the decrease of solar panel energy output during a total solar eclipse

    The Electric Grid Adapts to Changes in Solar Power

    While solar panel output declines significantly during an eclipse, electric grid operators are able to adapt by relying more heavily on other sources like natural gas, hydroelectric, and wind power. They also use energy stored in batteries or as heat to supplement the loss of solar. By diversifying power sources, the grid remains stable even when solar dips.

    The Solar Eclipse is Temporary – Solar Power Will Return

    Not to worry, the effects of a total solar eclipse on solar panels are temporary. As the moon continues its path, sunlight is restored and solar panels return to producing energy as usual. While solar eclipses lead to a temporary reduction in solar power, they do not cause any long-term damage to solar panels or the electric grid.


    Solar panel output decreases dramatically during a total solar eclipse as the moon blocks sunlight, but the electric grid is able to adapt by relying on other energy sources. Though solar eclipses temporarily reduce solar power, they do not cause long-term damage to solar panels or the electric grid.

    Don’t miss this spectacular celestial event! Be sure to grab your solar eclipse glasses to view the total solar eclipse safely. You can find a variety of options here.

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