SACRAMENTO: When the moon passes in front of the sun during Monday’s eclipse California will lose enough solar energy to power more than 1.5 million homes. The figure underscores the state’s growing reliance on energy from the sun. For about three hours Monday, there will be diminished solar power available. California has rapidly deployed renewable energy and now produces 40 percent of the nation’s solar power. The eclipse presents an unusual challenge for those who manage the state’s power grid because the solar energy will drop off and re-emerge more quickly than during usual conditions involving clouds or nightfall. Grid managers say they’ve been preparing extensively for more than a year and are confident nobody will lose power. They’ll ramp up other sources of power, mainly hydroelectric and natural gas.