Power reserves at the ready to cover solar shortfall during Monday eclipse

Colorado’s largest utility claims it has more than enough power reserves to handle the state’s descent Monday into shadow.

“Xcel Energy in Colorado is not anticipating any operational issues as a result of the solar eclipse, although like everyone else we will be interested in how this rare, celestial  event plays out across the country,” said spokesman Mark Stutz, echoing a message sent out by other utilities in the path of the eclipse.

The solar eclipse will greatly diminish, temporarily, the amount of electricity from solar power coming onto the grid. Although Colorado won’t go completely dark, it will mimic dusk in the state’s more populated Front Range corridor.

Solar generation accounts for 3.3 percent of what is known as “net dependable capacity” on the utility’s system in Colorado, or about 255 megawatts of the 7,576 megawatts of that capacity.