What is the electric transmission grid and how does it serve local customers and electric cooperatives?
The electric grid is the network of power lines that carries electricity from power plants to residential, industrial and commercial customers. To work effectively, electricity must at all times flow safely and reliably throughout the grid so the power is available when needed.
Most people are familiar with the "distribution" power lines and poles that run alongside roadways or are installed underground in neighborhoods. These lines distribute electricity to our homes and businesses. The part of the network that carries high-voltage electric power from generating stations to distribution facilities is called the "transmission grid." (View an interactive map of the U.S. electric grid.)
Economic growth is good news for Virginia, but it presents special challenges for Dominion as the largest energy provider in the state. Dominion Virginia Power is projected to experience an increase in customer demand for electricity of nearly 4,000 megawatts by 2022, one of the fastest growth rates in a 13-state region that stretches from Chicago to the District of Columbia and the Mid-Atlantic.
Virginia already imports more power from outside its borders than any state except California. We can begin to rectify that imbalance with a comprehensive approach that combines conservation and efficiency programs with renewable energy sources and new, economic and environmentally sound base-load generation and improved transmission infrastructure.