Term: Distribution


Distribution refers to the process of delivering energy from the grid to end-users. Energy is generated at power plants and moves through a complex system passing through substations, arriving at local transformers and into power lines connected to homes and businesses.

The Grid

The grid consists of hundreds of thousands of miles of high-voltage power lines and millions of miles of low-voltage power lines with transformers that connect with millions of customers with high demands for energy. The high-voltage electricity can move less expensively and more efficiently over long distances. As it approaches its destination it is reduced to a safer low-voltage energy which can be used within the home or business. This reduction of voltage occurs within the transformers.

The Process

Beginning at the generation site, high-voltage electricity is fed onto power lines and large amounts of energy are transported to banks of electrical equipment known as substations. The energy is converted at the substation into a lower and more usable voltage. The substation also monitors the flow of electricity and is responsible for maintaining the power lines and other equipment from damage and wear and tear. From the substation, electricity runs along either above or below ground power lines into neighborhoods where a transformer converts the electricity to a level that can be used which falls between 120-480 volts. From here the energy enters homes and businesses through individual meters.

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