How the Grid Works
September 10, 2021
WHEREVER ENERGY IS NEEDED, THE GRID IS THERE
Whenever you flip a switch, plug in your phone or open your refrigerator, you’re relying on the grid to bring you reliable electricity. Cooperatives like Stearns Electric put a lot of time and effort into providing electricity when you need it.
At the most basic level, the electric grid is a set of interconnected wires connecting places where energy is produced to where it is used. Over time, the grid has become smarter, more dynamic and more interconnected with advancements in technology along with additional wind and solar energy resources.
Great River Energy, wholesale electric provider to Stearns Electric, uses the grid to move electrons and information to ensure reliable electric service. This fast transmission of energy and information makes for a quick response time.
BUT HOW DOES THE GRID WORK?
Electricity from power plants and wind farms travels along high voltage transmission lines to the places where it can be “stepped down” and used. Specialized transformers reduce the electric energy down to a lower voltage making it suitable for high-volume delivery over short distances.
Power lines belonging to Stearns Electric carry electricity to smaller transformers that reduce power to levels appropriate for use at schools, farms, small businesses and homes.
For homeowners and businesses that have installed solar panels, wind turbines or other generators, the grid is always there to supply energy when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.
Stearns Electric works with Great River Energy to ensure a resilient grid able to meet growing demand and address the complexities of integrating renewable resources.