Transmission: From generation to city substations
Transmission refers to the electrical path running through underground or aerial wires between a generating station, where power is made, to a substation, where the power is made safe for travel to your neighbourhood. You'll see substations around the city; they're those buildings and attached yards you see filled with intricate grey machinery and giant spiral poles.
Transmission voltages are high, coming in at 72,000 volts (V) or 240,000 V (and up to 500,000 V). A 4,000 V line alone can cook a hot dog within seconds, so these transmission lines deal in serious voltages!
Distribution: From city substations to your home
EPCOR Expert: Jason
Jason has held many positions at EPCOR over the past 14 years. He started his career as a Power Linesman, and is now a Senior Manager within EPCOR's power distribution operations. It's Jason's job to oversee the repair and maintenance for all power distribution, as well as troubleshoot any issues. He ensures our system operates at its best and customers like you receive safe, reliable electricity.
Once voltages are stepped down (e.g. reduced) at a substation, the electricity cruises along distribution wires. These lines are the ones that leave a substation and make their way to a home or business. Distribution voltages are much lower, ranging from 120 V to 25,000 V.
Transmission involves large-scale infrastructure that carries high voltages across long distances to a distribution point. Think about those larger transmission towers that run along the Anthony Henday.
Distribution involves the system that actually connects customers, like you, to usable power through household electrical outlets.
If you were to follow the path of an electrical current in Edmonton, here's what it would look like: