Centralized Generation is bulk power generation. It leverages economies of scale to minimize the cost of converting other forms of energy into electricity.
Historically, centralized generation was a necessity to access the hydro power from rivers and urban power plants. As the electric grid expanded through high-voltage transmission lines, more and more centralized generation was able to be brought online and interconnected to meet America’s growing need for electricity. Geographic barriers were eliminated as the transmission system was linked, and new connections were made. This enabled generators to be centralized to produce massive amounts of bulk power, while also diverse in fuel and location by sharing the load across expansive regions.
Today’s electric grid enables interstate power markets to reliably generate the lowest cost of energy for customers. The power markets accept bids from centralized generators and others to supply power. Depending on the demand for electricity, the power market dispatches the low cost generation and idles the expensive generation. Like the water that flows in the Mississippi comes from thousands of diverse sources including the Arkansas, Ohio, and Missouri rivers the electric energy in the electric power grid comes from thousands of diverse sources generating power.