Components of Electricity Creation and Distribution

From start to finish, creating and delivering electricity to consumers involves three main components:

1. Generation

Electric energy generation ultimately takes primary energy resources like coal, wind, natural gas, petroleum, and nuclear materials to create a secondary form of energy, electricity. This conversion takes place in generation facilities across the state.

For a better understanding of how electricity is generated, visit our Virtual Power Plant Tour series , which features the four different types of electricity generation facilities used by MidAmerican Energy .

After electricity is generated, it is ready to be transmitted out of the generation facilities.

2. Transmission

Transmission towers and high-voltage power lines span long distances to connect the generation facility to one or more local transmission substations.

3. Distribution

Local substations receive electrical energy from the high-voltage power lines and then reduce the power voltage. The low-voltage power is distributed to various customers along low-voltage power lines. Those customers may be utility companies, businesses, or homes.

Continue to the Types of Electric Utilities page to learn more about the your electric utilities.

"How dependable electricity reaches you," shows the components of electricity creation and distribution. Illustration by the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives.