The power grid, also referred to as the electric grid or simply "the grid," is a term used to describe the electricity network in our country. This grid includes electricity generation (power plants, wind farms, solar fields); electric power transmission (high-voltage wires spanning the country); and electricity distribution (the wires you see on your street).


The electric grid connects our homes, schools, businesses and cities through a network of power lines to diverse energy sources. America’s electric grid is one of the great feats of 20th-century engineering, supporting the country’s industrial and economic growth.
Today’s grid is a highly integrated nationwide network of transmission lines and control facilities that interconnect with electrical generation that serves millions of customers. Now, more investment is needed to ensure that we have a modern, flexible and resilient grid to serve 21st-century needs.

Components of the Grid

Generation

 

The process of creating electricity from other forms of energy at a power plant or facility. Fuel sources include natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, biomass, solar, hydro and other sources.

centralized vs. distributed generation

Transmission

 

The network of high-voltage lines and substations acting as an energy superhighway, interconnecting generating facilities to the local distribution system.


AC vs. DC transmission lines

Distribution


The most visible component of power delivery is the system of distribution lines along streets and the wires that bring electricity into our homes and businesses.