If you’re like most people, how the power grid works isn’t something you think about every day—you flip the switch and the lights come on. However, the reality is it that takes a complex network to deliver this vital service.
Below is a simple depiction that walks through the basic steps in the electrical grid.
All the electrical power that we use starts at a power plant where a generator produces electricity. Generators can be fueled by coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, or renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, solar, and wind power.
From the generator, power leaves and enters a transmission substation, which converts the generator’s voltage to extremely high voltages for long-distance travel on the transmission grid. Transmission lines (like the ones proposed for the Greater Boston and New Hampshire Solution) effectively and efficiently carry that high-voltage power over the long distances.
From the transmission lines, the power is converted to a lower voltage at a substation that sends power to the distribution lines—the lines you see along your town or city streets—and, ultimately, that powers your home or business.