KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON IN GEORGIA
You turn on a lamp and instantly have light. How complicated is the process to send electricity to your home — and how does GSOC aid in that delivery?
Electricity is created at a generation plant — powered by coal, nuclear fuel, natural gas or water, among other sources. How much or little each plant produces is based on the economics and reliability impact of the individual facility, along with customers’ demand, or load.
Electricity then flows throughout the territory via the transmission grid straight to your home. This electric current is sent through a vast power grid of high-voltage transmission lines to a substation in your area. At the substation, the voltage is reduced and overhead or underground distribution lines carry the electricity to your home or work. GSOC’s two control centers monitor this power delivery process from generation through delivery.
The Energy Control Center monitors and manages the production from Oglethorpe Power’s generating facilities. Its operators continuously monitor the system. If demand increases, a generating unit will be brought online to create the power needed; if it decreases, a unit may be taken offline.
The Transmission Control Center monitors the state’s integrated transmission system, ensuring that the substations, towers, and power lines are operational and are in good working order. If a line goes down, the operators work quickly to analyze the situation and bring the downed line back in service.
At every substation or generation plant, and at other key points across the grid, electronic devices monitor key characteristics of this power flow. These devices are all connected back to our control centers via the GSOC telecommunications network. The network brings back the information needed by our control centers to operate the grid and enables them to instantly and reliably execute control over devices throughout the state.