The electrical grid is a massive, interconnected network that draws on a diverse set of electricity sources and provides power to homes, businesses, factories and farms. Some Coloradans generate their own electricity, using distributed energy resources like rooftop solar panels or small wind turbines. However, most rely on electricity from power plants, wind farms and solar gardens located miles away. To access these distant resources, utilities build high voltage transmission lines, allowing customers to utilize the high quality wind resource on the Eastern Plains and the sunny solar resource in the San Luis Valley. The electricity travels from transmission lines to more localized substations, where voltage is reduced and power is delivered to customers through a network of distribution power lines. Utilities manage the electric grid, balancing the amount of electricity generated with the amount of electricity needed, ensuring that electricity is provided reliably to all customers.
- Electric Utilities
- Colorado Coordinated Planning Group
- Xcel Energy map of the Colorado transmission system (see Figure 5, PDF pg 21)