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U.S. Power Grid

 

The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines.

The electric grid delivers electricity from points of generation to consumers, and the electricity delivery network functions via two primary systems: the transmission system and the distribution system. The transmission system delivers electricity from power plants to distribution substations, while the distribution system delivers electricity from distribution substations to consumers. The grid also encompasses myriads of local area networks that use distributed energy resources to serve local loads and/or to meet specific application requirements for remote power, village or district power, premium power, and critical loads protection.

U.S. Power Grid

It is important to note that there is no "national power grid" in the United States. In fact, the continental United States is divided into three main power grids:

  • The Eastern Interconnected System, or the Eastern Interconnect

  • The Western Interconnected System, or the Western Interconnect

  • The Texas Interconnected System, or the Texas Interconnect

 

U.S. Power Grid

Department Of Energy Graphic

ECAR - East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement
ERCOT - Electric Reliability Council of Texas
FRCC - Florida Reliability Coordinating Council
MAAC - Mid-Atlantic Area Council
MAIN - Mid-America Interconnected Network
MAPP - Mid-Continent Area Power Pool
NPCC - Northeast Power Coordinating Council
SERC - Southeastern Electric Reliability Council
SPP - Southwest Power Pool
WSCC - Western Systems Coordinating Council

North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) Regions and Subregions

 

U.S. Power Grid

ECAR - East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement
ERCOT - Electric Reliability Council of Texas
FRCC - Florida Reliability Coordinating Council
MAAC - Mid-Atlantic Area Council
MAIN - Mid-America Interconnected Network
MAPP - Mid-Continent Area Power Pool
    MAPP U.S.
    MAPP Canada
NPCC - Northwest Power Coordinating Council
    Quebec
    Ontario
    Maritime
    ISO New England
    New York
SERC - Southeastern Electric Reliability Council
    TVA
    Southern
    VACAR
    Entergy
SPP - Southwest Power Pool
    SPP Northern
    SPP Southern
WSCC - Western Systems Coordinating Council
    CA
    NWPP
    RMPA
    AZNMSNV

The Eastern and Western Interconnects have limited interconnections to each other, and the Texas Interconnect is only linked to the others via direct current lines. Both the Western and Texas Interconnects are linked with Mexico, and the Eastern and Western Interconnects are strongly interconnected with Canada. All electric utilities in the mainland United States are connected to at least one other utility via these power grids.

The grid systems in Hawaii and Alaska are much different than on the U.S. mainland. Alaska has an interconnected grid system, but it connects only Anchorage, Fairbanks, and the Kenai Peninsula. Much of the rest of the state depends on small diesel generators, although there are a few minigrids in the state as well. Hawaii also depends on minigrids to serve each island's inhabitants.

U.S. Power Grid

Power grids are inherently prone to big blackouts. The United States's electric power grid is growing increasingly complex and interconnected, with a greater number of power buyers and sellers making a burgeoning number of transactions. 

The U.S. power grid is outmoded, with too few transmission lines to handle Americans' ever-growing appetite for electricity.

Credit:EIA

 

Data compiled from The British Antarctic Study, NASA, Environment Canada, UNEP, EPA and other sources as stated and credited Researched by Charles Welch-Updated daily This Website is a project of the The Ozone Hole Inc. a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization http://www.theozonehole.com

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