Plug in to Electricity 101

More than two and a half centuries have passed since Benjamin Franklin and others proved lightning was a form of electricity.  Electricity is a form of energy that starts with atoms. An atom has three parts: protons, neutrons, and electrons. At least one electron travels around the center of the atom at great speed. Forcing electrons to flow from atom to atom creates electricity.

How it’s produced

In the United States, this process is typically performed at power plants. Inside a generator, spinning turbine shafts turn electromagnets surrounded by coils of copper to create a magnetic field that causes the electrons in the copper wire to move from atom to atom. Electricity leaves the power plant through high-power transmission lines on tall towers and is helped along by transformers that boost its power.

How it’s delivered

When electricity gets closer to where it will be used, its voltage must be decreased.  Different kinds of transformers at utility substations do the job of easing electricity’s power. Electricity then travels on overhead or underground distribution wires to neighborhoods and individual homes and businesses.

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