Transmission lines move large amounts of electricity, or volts, from point A to point B. Think of the volts as water pressure, said Carl Imhoff, who manages the grid business sector within Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. The farther away energy is from light switches, the higher the “pressure” needs to be.
Electricity travels down the transmission highway until it gets to a substation – that’s sort of like an intersection, Imhoff said. Usually when heading toward cities, the voltage “pressure” then decreases. It changes lines to smaller cables that head to homes and businesses.
“Many of the opportunities and issues before us as a nation, whether it’s reducing emissions or adding more renewable generation, all kind of point to doing new things with the power system,” Imhoff said. “The electric power system is going to be increasingly strategic to what goes on in our lives.”
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